Assembly Labor Committee Vice Chair Elease Evans today pointed to the latest jump in the state’s poverty rate as a continued sign of things to come as the ramifications of the Christie administration’s policies play out.
Evans, one of the Assembly’s leading anti-poverty advocates, cited the latest report by Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute, which found that New Jersey’s poverty rate increased from 8.7 percent in 2008 to 9.4 percent in 2009. Even more alarming, the Assemblywoman noted, was the jump in child poverty from 12.5 to 13.5 percent and the spike among Hispanic and Latinos from 16.5 percent in 2008 to18.3 percent in 2009.
“This is a sad and unfortunate reality of the current economy. It’s also indicative of the fact that we need to do more to spur job growth and help people become gainfully employed. Unfortunately, the Governor not only vetoed many of our job creation and economic growth bills, but he has seen to it that the poverty rate will only increase by disproportionately affecting the working poor with his budget decisions.
“In effect, he raised taxes on the working poor by cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit. He also slashed the NJ After 3 program, completely eliminated funding for health care for low income women, hiked public transit fees. This year’s budget plan is more of the same.
“All New Jerseyans must share in the sacrifice. The Governor is often quoted as saying, ‘everyone must share in the sacrifice.’ Then we shouldn’t be relying on our low and middle income earners to solve all of our fiscal woes,” said Evans (D-Bergen/Passaic).