As state budget discussions come to a close this month, New Jersey lawmakers and advocates alike should turn their attention to the ways that the American Rescue Plan (ARP) can complement the state’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. The ARP, signed into law by President Biden in March, includes expansions to food assistance, housing support, unemployment benefits, tax credits for working families, and health coverage to ensure a full and strong recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Jersey does best when all residents can reach their full potential, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or neighborhood. This requires quality public education, safe and affordable housing, jobs that pay well, healthy places to live, reliable transportation, and assurance of just law enforcement practices, among other essentials. Yet many residents across the state still face persistent barriers, despite decades of progress. These disparities are particularly acute for people of color and women who face the compounding effects of racism and sexism. But by having a clearer idea of the challenges we face and where they manifest, we can better plan our efforts for policy advocacy.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated.
COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that have left our state unprepared to meet the needs of its people in this disaster. As the workers predominantly on the front lines, women and people of color bore the brunt of the economic meltdown. They also simultaneously have suffered greater exposure to the virus that caused it.
Alabama has a weak safety net for struggling families and an approach to economic growth that all too often leaves workers underprotected and underpaid. This ongoing policy legacy has exacerbated the damage that the virus has wreaked on the state’s working people.
In The State of Working Alabama 2021, Alabama Arise explores COVID-19’s significant and negative impacts on the state’s workforce. We also look ahead to outline a state and federal policy agenda for repairing the damage – not by repeating the policy mistakes of the past, but by charting a new path toward a more equitable economy marked by broadly shared prosperity.
Connecticut Voices for Children released their Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022. Versions of this document have been developed throughout the 25 years of the organization’s history. As the state experiences the convergence of a health crisis, an economic recession due to that crisis, and a contentious and long-overdue conversation on race, the “Book” has been refreshed given Voices’ new, strategic aim toward economic justice and these unprecedented times. The Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022 is designed to be a starting point for shared knowledge around the research and recommendations that are fundamental to family economic security and the undergirding fiscal and economics, with the hope of advancing shared action.
Abridged Brief | Full Brief