Poll: The Growing Problem of Poverty in New Jersey — Can It Be Cured?

NJ Spotlight | January 28, 2016 | Polling
A new anti-poverty initiative has just gotten underway. Can it really do anything to change the lives of the poor?

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In Trenton yesterday, four Assembly committees convened to begin studying the seemingly intractable problem of poverty in New Jersey.

The meetings were part of Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s recently announced anti-poverty initiative. One of the goals: begin studying the situation and come up with solutions that hopefully work better than the tried-and-true programs that seem incapable of relieving this stubborn issue — whether due to underfunding, or poor oversight, or both.

As might be expected, the statistics that were offered as evidence were almost unrelievedly bleak. The Assembly speaker himself set the tone for much of the discussion by indicating that “New Jersey has higher poverty than it has had in the last 50 years. It’s 40 percent greater than before the recession of 2008.”

Those are disquieting comments, but how accurately do they reflect reality? We’re asking you …