Today, February 28th, Governor Murphy delivered his sixth state budget address, outlining his major initiatives for the FY2024 budget, “expanding affordability, promoting fiscal responsibility, and creating world-class opportunities for everyone to succeed in the Next New Jersey.”
While the Governor’s $53.1 billion proposed budget focuses heavily on tax relief and increasing the budgetary surplus, it also includes proposed funding increases to programs that will support children and their families.
Highlights of these investments include:
- Child Care:
- More than $12 million for wage increases for child care providers.
- Continues child care subsidy payments based on enrollment.
- Maintains the $300/child monthly child care supplementary payment.
- Continues the family subsidy co-pay waiver.
- Child Tax Credit: Doubling the child state income tax credit to $1,000 per child.
- Preschool Aid: $109 million for state-funded preschool, $40 million of which would go towards expanding public preschool in new districts and $69 million would go to current districts that offer universal preschool. This would bring the total state funding for preschool to more than $1 billion.
- School Aid: $832 million in the K-12 school funding formula, bringing the total state aid to nearly $11 billion.
- Public School Teachers: $5 million to waive teacher certification fees, $10 million for student-teacher stipends, and $1 million to develop local partnerships for paraprofessional training.
- Student Learning: $10 million for high-impact tutoring for elementary and secondary school students to remedy pandemic losses, bringing the aggregate total to $30 million.
- Home Visiting: $4.5 million increase to expand the state's universal home visiting program.
- Maternal and Infant Health:
- $750,000 in new funding for doula and community health worker training.
- $630,000 in funding for the first in the nation New Jersey Report Card of Hospital Maternity Care and $600,000 for the New Jersey Maternal Data Center.
- Increased funding to the Commission of Science, Innovation, and Technology in EDA to expand their Maternal and Infant Health Research & Development Seed Grant Program.
- Mental Health Services: $43 million for the inaugural year of the NJ Statewide Student Support Services (NJ4S) network, a new model for delivering mental health services to New Jersey’s youth across the State.
- School Nutrition: Expand access to free school meals for children in families making under 200% of the federal poverty level with more than $20 million in new funding.
As more details emerge, we will provide updates to ensure that children have a voice in this budget process.