WEDNESDAY HEARINGS – Rebuilding the Middle-Class

Assembly Committees to Begin Addressing Ways to Combat Poverty in New Jersey

According to a recent report by Legal Services of New Jersey, more New Jersey residents are in poverty now than in the past five decades.
The agency estimates about 2.8 million adults and 800,000 children lived poverty in New Jersey 2014. That’s 40 percent higher than it was before the 2008 Great Recession.
“What’s even more concerning than the shocking number of residents living in poverty is that the outlook is bleak unless we take significant steps to change the status quo,” said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “We live in a state where the richest 20 percent hold half of all the income. We applaud and welcome such success, but such inequality is concerning, both when it comes to sound fiscal and smart social policy. We must rebuild the middle-class and make New Jersey more affordable with common sense 21st century ideas and government reforms.”
Prieto added, “I’ll keep this simple – we should be embarrassed that so many of our fellow New Jerseyans – our friends, our neighbors, our own family members – are living in poverty in 2016. It is not acceptable. We must rebuild our middle-class.”
Wednesday’s hearings:
· 10 a.m. HUMAN SERVICES – The committee will receive testimony from invited guests and the general public regarding social service programs provided by the state and services needed to help residents of New Jersey living in poverty and transitioning out of poverty. Room 16.
· 11 a.m. TRANSPORTATION – The committee will take testimony from invited guests and members of the public regarding ways in which the state’s transportation system acts as a barrier to those living in poverty and those working to transition out of poverty. Testimony will focus on ways the system, particularly the mass transit system, can be used to help these residents. Room 11.
· 1 p.m. HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – The committee will take testimony from invited guests and others regarding the housing needs and housing problems faced by residents of New Jersey living in poverty and transitioning out of poverty. Room 12.
· 2 p.m. WOMEN AND CHILDREN – The committee will take testimony from invited guests and others regarding employment issues faced by those living in poverty and working to transition out of poverty. The committee also will take testimony on the particular issues faced by children living in poverty. Room 15.
Audio of the hearings will be streamed live at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp