AARP New Jersey hosted its Virtual Days at the State Capitol on Thursday, June 10 and Friday, June 11. Attendees heard from Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and other state lawmakers on issues like increasing property tax relief, lowering prescription drug prices, protecting older workers and making your utilities affordable.
Participants heard from Governor Murphy and elected representatives on advancing the state’s commitment to making New Jersey an age-friendly place to live. Participants had the opportunity to tell New Jersey’s highest elected leaders to pass a State Budget that improves the health and financial security of older residents, including:
You can watch a recording of the first day here and second day here.
Support Older New Jerseyans' Financial Security
The NJ Legislature must finalize the Fiscal Year 2022 State Budget by June 30. We are urging lawmakers to:
Tell elected representatives to fund these priorities in the FY 2022 budget to support older New Jerseyans’ health and financial security.
Protect Older Workers
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples. The EITC lifts millions out of poverty. These dollars are spent in local communities, growing our economy for everyone.
However, this tax credit is not available to workers over the age of 64. It is time to remove the age cap on the EITC and end this discrimination against older workers.
Older workers should be judged only on how well they can do their job - never on their age. New Jersey's current law allows employers not to hire or promote workers over 70 years old – despite our workforce getting older and working longer.
Tell NJ lawmakers to eliminate the language that allows employers to refuse to hire or promote workers over age 70.
Protect Lifeline Utility Services
The current moratorium on electric, gas and water shut-offs needs to be extended beyond June 30, 2021. Consumers hit hard by the health and financial crises of the COVID-19 pandemic are already starting to receive shut-off notices. More than 1 million NJ residents have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and hundreds of thousands of utility customers are at risk of having their utilities shut off. Despite this current crisis, the utility industry wants to raise rates by billions of dollars.
Tell Governor Murphy to stop utility shut offs until new assistance programs are up and running and to suspend utility rate increases as families and businesses recover from the pandemic.
Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Too many Garden State residents are forced to choose between filling life-saving prescriptions and paying rent, buying food and meeting other critical needs. It is wrong that even in the midst of a pandemic, drug companies increased the prices of over 1,000 drugs last year.
Tell NJ lawmakers to support the creation of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to ensure pricing decisions are reasonable and justified.
Save Our Seniors
More than 7,800 New Jersey residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. This is a tragedy that should never have happened and one we must ensure never happens again.
AARP New Jersey has been fighting to protect residents and staff in long-term care facilities and fighting to save seniors' lives. Governor Murphy has enacted a package of long-term care reform bills.
Learn more about long-term care reform and protections AARP NJ fought for.
This story is provided by AARP New Jersey. Visit the AARP New Jersey page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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