Lawmakers have approved legislation to help both businesses and unemployed workers. The Senate Budget and Appropriations committee OK’d five bills to provide $100 million to small businesses. More than a third of that amount would go to bars and restaurants. The other funds would go to arts and culture groups, and other small businesses and nonprofits. The bills advance to the full Legislature later this week, as some Republican lawmakers argued even more money is needed.
Several bills to help those who are out of work were also approved by the same Senate committee. One measure would provide eligible small businesses with a tax credit if they hire someone who is currently unemployed. Another bill would have unemployment claims handlers from the state labor department work with staffers in legislators’ district offices, to help address unpaid unemployment claims — this after frustrated residents, unable to get answers on the status of their claims, began calling their local lawmakers for help.
Another New Jersey university is pledging that low- and moderate-income students can attend college for free. Stockton University says it will cover the balance of tuition and fees after grants, starting this fall. The offer is for eligible first-year and transfer students, with household income of $65,000 or less.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell is among a group of Democratic lawmakers urging the IRS to get stimulus checks out to those on Social Security. The lawmakers say some payments have been delayed and they want the IRS to come up with a timeline by Friday.