June is Pride Month and when we celebrate the vibrancy, strength, and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. In New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the country, we are committed to making sure everyone feels safe, welcome and protected. We will not allow NJ GOP attempts to pass Florida-style “Don’t Say Gay” bills to divide us because we know that we are stronger together.
Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which feels especially difficult this year as we’ve been made all too viscerally aware of the national gun violence crisis over the last few weeks. Since the horrendous attack on school children in Uvalde, Texas, there have already been 21 more mass shootings; with three shootings happening simultaneously in three different states on Wednesday, including one that killed four people in a medical facility in Tulsa. The statistics surrounding gun violence are overwhelming to grapple with but NJ Democrats are committed to protecting New Jerseyans’ right to live and will continue to fight for common sense safety measures at every level.
A final reminder that Tuesday, June 7, is the New Jersey Primary Election and this election is detrimental in sending a message to Republicans that we are only interested in progress and moving forward.
GOV. MURPHY UPDATE
Governor Murphy spoke at Ewing College on Monday in support of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and to encourage more public service employees in New Jersey to apply for the opportunity to have some of their federal student debt forgiven.
“The one-time waiver will allow anyone who has worked full time in an eligible public service job since October 2007 to qualify for loan forgiveness. That includes people who did not previously qualify,” said Governor Murphy. “More than 2,500 state residents have now had $167 million in debt canceled at an average waiver of over $65,000 per person.”
Through October 2022, those that have made 10 years’ worth of payments and work in a qualifying job are able to apply for a loan forgiveness waiver, regardless of what type of federal loan or repayment plan they have. The Governor emphasized that teachers, nurses, and those who were on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic should look into whether they are eligible. This program also now allows military members to count time on active duty, even if they put a pause on making their payments during that time.
College loan debt has been one of the most pressing economic weights on young people and our country and I am proud that our Governor is working with the federal government to help ease that burden on New Jersey workers, especially those that have committed their lives to public service.
Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez announced this week that they were able to procure $6 million in federal funding for repairs to the Atlantic City boardwalk. Both NJ Senators worked closely with Mayor Marty Small of Atlantic City to greenlight the project covering repairs to 1,200 feet of the boardwalk and creating 125 jobs.
Atlantic City is one of New Jersey’s largest tourism locations and a vital part of our state economy. With the uptick in severe weather conditions and coastal flooding, we need to ensure the boardwalk is safe for residents, businesses, and tourists.
This is a great example of Democratic leadership working together at every level of government to enact real change and improve the everyday lives of New Jerseyans.
PRESIDENT BIDEN UPDATE
President Biden wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal this week laying out his plan to transition from economic “rapid recovery” due to the COVID-19 pandemic to stable, steady growth in order to bring inflation down. His plan has three parts:
- Unlike Trump and past leaders, Biden promised that he will not try to influence the Federal Reserve, tasked with controlling inflation, which has agreed that tackling inflation is our highest economic priority right now.
- Work with Congress to pass legislation that lowers everyday costs from housing to medication, boosts our productive capacity, fixes broken supply chains, improves infrastructure, and lowers the fees companies charge to ship products.
- Continue to reduce the federal deficit, already projected to fall by $1.7 trillion this year, in order to loosen up pressure on prices. Ideally this would include reforms to the tax code that would incentivize companies not to move jobs overseas and fight the unfairness we see now where billionaires are getting out of paying their fair share in taxes.
“I ran for president because I was tired of the so-called trickle-down economy. We now have a chance to build on a historic recovery with an economy that works for working families,” President Biden said in his WSJ piece. He also emphasized that, despite current inflation rates, we are still on the right track in building back after COVID. Business investment is up 20%, manufacturing jobs are growing at their fastest rate in 30 years, and there were more new small business applications in 2021 than in any previous year.
— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.
P.S. – Save the date! NJDSC’s LGBTQ+ Caucus will be hosting a Pride event, in collaboration with Union County Democrats, on June 21. Watch your inbox for a NJDSC Coalitions-specific newsletter next week!