Monthly News & Updates

February 2023 | Issue 8

NJ Banks Are Shrinking & Consolidating, Harming Consumers and Communities of Color

NJ lost a third of its banks in the last 10 years. What's that doing to consumers?

-Asbury Park Press

"NJ bankers say they need to keep getting bigger — and more profitable — so that they can invest in technology, protect against fraud and continue to lend. But the trend is raising alarm bells from federal lawmakers and local consumer advocates, who say the consolidation is leading to less convenience and potentially higher costs.

'The fewer banks there are, the less products there are, the less service, the less investment,' said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, president of NJCA."

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Advocacy Group Asks Feds to Require Racial Equity Promises from Banks Before Merger

-TAPinto Nutley

"NJCA asked the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to only approve the merger between Provident Financial Services and Lakeland Bancorp if they agree to a Community Reinvestment Agreement, or CRA, that takes into account Lakeland’s recent $13 million federal consent order for illegal redlining practices."

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Snapshots around NJ

NJCA In Action

Drug prices are obscene, and Murphy is blocking the smart solution

-Star Ledger Editorial Board

"If we controlled the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs, people like her could function and work better, and wouldn’t have to choose between their kids’ lifesaving medication or their mortgage payment. So why is Gov. Murphy refusing to endorse a smart reform to help?

It’s a prescription drug affordability board, modeled after those in states like Maryland. A team of experts would analyze the entire marketplace, then recommend to our Legislature ways to lower the cost of overpriced drugs for everyone. Because while we’ve seen some reforms in Medicaid and Medicare, people with private insurance haven’t yet caught up."

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Upcoming Event: Health Equity & Paid Leave Access for the LGBTQIA+ Community

When it comes to taking time off work, whether it be for mental health, caring for yourself or a loved one, or for bonding, access to inclusive paid leave and an affirming workplace that is free from discrimination is vital for all working people, but especially for Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QTBIPOC). 

Join us on March 15 @ 10 am to discuss health equity 

and inclusive paid leave and access for LGBTQIA workers in NJ! 

Register here

We will discuss NJ workers' rights and how they are critical for the LGBTQIA community, as well as the barriers they face when accessing these benefits. Through storytelling, advocacy, and education, we can assure that the LGBTQIA community can safely access time off when they need it the most. 

Featuring guest speakers from the NJ Department of Labor, Garden State Equality, the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, COLAGE, and Family Values @ Work.

Undocumented children now covered for health insurance in New Jersey

-NJ Spotlight

"Immigrant and health care advocates are eager to spread the word about a state program that now enables all children regardless of their residency or citizenship status to get public health insurance if their families meet the financial criteria."

"NJ officials estimate some 48,000 children were eligible but not enrolled in NJ FamilyCare, the state’s Medicaid program, including about 16,000 undocumented kids. Advocates say there are closer to 90,000 New Jerseyans under 19 who lack health care coverage, with some 60,000 lacking secure, documented status as a resident or citizen."

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Our ACA Enrollment Counselors are standing by to help you sign up for health insurance, in English or Spanish!

Call us at (888)654-3893, email us at [email protected], or visit our website.

Want to do more? Become an NJCA Activist!

ALERT: New NJ Paid Leave Benefits

NJ paid leave benefit amounts have been updated for 2023!

Learn more about the paid family and medical leave you are entitled to!

Our Community

Tax season is in full swing, help is available from NJCA

NJCA's tax office is open and free tax preparation help is available for any NJ households with incomes up to $65,000, in English or Spanish.

Learn more

There are still 4 days until the deadline on February 28 to apply for property tax relief through the ANCHOR program. Both homeowners and tenants are eligible.

Learn more and apply today!

How to avoid becoming uninsured in Pa. and N.J. with the end of the COVID public health emergency

-Philadelphia Inquirer

"For the last three years, states have suspended rules that require people to annually reapply for Medicaid, the publicly funded health insurance program for low-income families. Beginning in April, Medicaid’s renewal process will resume."

"'People are really unsure about what’s happening,' said Laura Waddell, the health care program director at New Jersey Citizen Action."

"Medicaid will send notices by mail, phone, text, and email to alert people that their renewal deadline is approaching. Agencies are expected to begin reaching out to people at least 90 days before their coverage expires."

"Find out when your plan is due for renewal by calling NJ Family Care (800-701-0710). Update your contact information, especially if you’re unable to find out when your plan expires. Your current mailing address, email address, and phone number are critical for Medicaid and the program’s community health partners to alert you when it’s time to renew your coverage."

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Upcoming Events: First-Time Homebuyer Webinars

Join us to learn about the homebuying process, the differences between owning vs. renting, housing affordability, your homebuying team, understanding the difference between pre-qualifications and pre-approvals, fair housing protections for homebuyers, free HUD-certified housing counseling, and exploring affordable mortgage programs and downpayment assistance available to you!

Learn more

Join the NJCA Team!

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Do you or does someone you know have a passion for social, racial, or economic justice? Are you looking for a fulfilling career supporting the needs and interests of NJ working families? NJCA is hiring for multiple open positions, including:

Learn more and apply

For more information on NJCA, visit our website

njcitizenaction.org and follow us on social media:

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