NJ Top News 1/15 – How much will NJ families get under Biden stimulus?
Eligible New Jersey families could receive thousands of dollars in new stimulus cash.
President-elect Joe Biden says the "very health of our nation" is at stake and is proposing a massive $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue measure that could send thousands of dollars into the bank accounts of New Jersey families in the form of direct payments and other assistance.
At the center of Biden's "American Rescue Plan," is a direct stimulus payment of $1,400. This would be in addition to the $600 payments that were just sent out. Eligibility is still likely to be capped at similar income levels as past stimulus ($75,000/single or $150,000/married), but eligibility would be expanded to include adult dependents who were excluded in the first two rounds of direct stimulus.
Mixed immigration status families would also be eligible, retroactively. This includes households where one spouse is undocumented and do not have Social Security numbers.
Biden has also proposed increasing federal unemployment supplements to $400, and extending those payments from March through September.
Self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers will continue to be eligible.
And $30 billion is included to help pay rent and utilities for those who have lost their jobs.
The president-elect has also included some significant tax breaks for New Jersey families. The Child Tax Credit would increase to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children up to age 17.
Childless, low-income, residents would also see an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit for a period of one year.
One key provision not included in the Biden plan is college loan forgiveness. That was a surprise because it has been a key issue for Biden and progressive Democrats. Biden campaigned on a promise to wipe out up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt. With Democrats set to take over control of the U.S. Senate, many saw a clear path to getting the loan deal done. It could still be addressed as a separate piece of legislation, but it was expected to be included in the stimulus package.
Gov. Phil Murphy applauded the Biden plan, and vowed to work with the new administration to get it passed and implemented. Democratic members of New Jersey's congressional delegation also pledged support.
Work could begin in the House soon, even as the U.S. Senate is expected to be occupied with Donald Trump's impeachment trial shortly after Biden is sworn in as the 46th president. However, with key provisions of the latest stimulus plan expiring in March, work is expected to move quickly and be completed before then.
More N.J. Top News:
- The FBI says the threat of violence at Joe Biden's inauguration is real.
- New Jersey has flipped from one of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the nation, to among the highest.
- The spike in COVID cases makes it unlikely the majority of children will be back in classrooms this year.
- Appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine filled up within hours of new eligibility rules. Most will wait weeks for the shot.
- This is usually peak flu season, but few cases are being reported.
- New Jersey is ranked as the 7th best state in the nation to raise a family.
- If you refuse to wear a mask on a plane, you can be kicked off, arrested and fined up to $35,000.
- A controversial inclusion bill that would force lessons on gender equality and sexual orientation as early as kindergarten awaits Gov. Murphy's signature
- A happy ending to the story of Willow the cat.