Members of the Assembly gathered for a voting session on Dec. 2, 2021. (Daniella Heminghaus for New Jersey Monitor)
A fracas over Statehouse vaccine rules waylaid much of the Assembly’s legislative agenda for Thursday, but the chamber did clear a handful of bills.
Lawmakers in both chambers unanimously approved a bill expanding New Jersey’s child tax credit. Residents with annual taxable income of $150,000 or less will be eligible for the tax credit. The program’s current cutoff is $60,000.
The new thresholds would see New Jersey filers receive credits worth between 10% and 50% of the federal child tax credit, with the greatest awards for those making $30,000 or less per year.
The federal credit is worth between $3,600 and $3,000 depending on a child’s age. If a taxpayer’s credit under the state program exceeds the total of their income tax bill, they get the difference as a tax refund.
“Our state is a great place to live, but it is also an expensive place to live. That is why we must work each and every day to make New Jersey more affordable,” said Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), one of the bill’s sponsors. “The affordability crisis affects us all, especially those families who shoulder the expense of child care.”
Lawmakers in the Assembly also approved a bill increasing pay for the state’s poll workers to $300 for Election Day. Current law requires the counties pay their poll workers at least $200, though some counties pay more. The bill cleared the Senate in June but was amended in November and will need to clear the upper chamber once more before reaching Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.
The Senate unanimously concurred with a conditional veto to a bill that would have made permanent a pandemic-era requirement that insurers cover telehealth services at a level equal to coverage for in-person services. If the Assembly joins the upper chamber in concurring, the pandemic-era telehealth rules will expire in early July instead of sunsetting on Jan. 11.
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