S2834, a bill that restores the New Jersey earned income credit (EIC) program as a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) was passed in the Senate Budget Committee.
Bill supporters said this makes the difference for many between poverty and making ends meet. It is estimated to affect more than 485,000 residents.
According to the bill language, as part of the Governor’s Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2011, the State EIC benefit amount was reduced from 25 percent of the federal EITC to 20 percent of the federal credit amount for an estimated savings of $45 million. This bill would restore the State credit to the maximum benefit amount previously allowable under the State program.
The EIC credit is a refundable credit provided to approximately 485,000 low and moderate income workers in this State. To have reduced this benefit for those State residents living at the lowest end of the income strata while simultaneously having provided an income tax rate cut for approximately 12,000 millionaires is unconscionable and does not comport with the Governor’s message of shared sacrifice in these tough economic times.
A bill pushing back the primary election from February to June, S2883/A3777, was approved 11-2. This bill eliminates the separate presidential primary election held in February of presidential election years. It provides, instead, that delegates and alternates to national conventions of political parties will be elected at the regular June primary election, which was the practice prior to the enactment of a law in 2005. Its sponsors believe this change would save the state between $8 million and $10 million every four years.