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New Jersey Legislative Agenda 2024

2024 Legislative Priorities: Our Worker Power Platform

1. CBT Surcharge - FY25 Budget Issue

The wealthiest New Jersey businesses should be paying their fair share! Businesses like Amazon, Walmart, and other giants bring in record-high revenue and should bear a larger share of the tax burden. 

  • High-earning businesses contribute to income inequality when their profits disproportionately benefit executives and shareholders. 
  • Higher taxes on these businesses can be seen as a way to address or mitigate income inequality.
  • They rely on public services and infrastructure, such as roads, education, and legal systems, to operate and thrive in the communities in which they reside. Paying higher taxes is seen as a way for businesses to contribute their fair share toward the maintenance of these services.

What CWA is fighting for: Reinstating the CBT Surcharge on businesses that earn 1 million in profit or more to help fund programs such as healthcare, education, and social safety nets. This revenue can be crucial, especially during times of economic challenges. 

2. Privatization Cost Analysis Legislation Public services: not profits! - S1518 Sen. Turner & Greenstein / A919 AM. Reynolds Jackson, Verelli, Quijano, Wimberley

Privatizing a public service means adding the factor of “profit” to a place where it doesn’t belong. Public services should serve the public. 

What CWA is fighting for: Public services can only be privatized when there are cost savings and no increased charges or fees to the public, no reduced services to the public, or lowered workforce standards. 

3. To Be Filed:  Income Tax Deduction for Union Dues - Sen. Greenstein/AM. Mukherji, Verelli, Quijano 

Union dues should be tax deductible! Following the elimination of that option in the 2017 federal corporate tax cut, we need legislation in New Jersey to get that right back. Tax deductions can serve as an incentive for workers to actively participate in their unions and CWA members could put thousands of dollars back in their pockets!

What CWA is fighting for: A law to allow New Jersey union workers to deduct union dues from their income taxes. 

4. Safe Staffing: Sen. Vitale / S1941Sen. Greenstein / No Clear Assembly sponsor or bill number at this time

CWA healthcare workers and New Jersey patients are directly harmed by inadequate staffing levels, risking their licenses as they are overworked and stretched thin between far too many patients. Safe staffing measures would increase patient safety and help to maintain healthcare workers to stay in their field. 

What CWA is fighting for: Legislation that would implement mandated staffing ratios in hospitals and medical facilities across the state. 

5. Freedom to Read Act: S2421 Zwicker, Ruiz / A3446 Drulis, Sumter, Conaway

The freedom to read is a human right, constitutionally protected by the First Amendment of the United States, and individuals' rights to free inquiry and the right to form their own opinions are crucial to our democracy. Book bans and censorship are on the rise, and attacks on librarians, many of them CWA members, are deeply troubling and unacceptable. What CWA is fighting for: This important legislation would protect librarians from being sued for doing their jobs and enable them to file a civil action against someone who harasses them.

6. Hospital Pricing Transparency: S1984Sen. Vitale / No Assembly Sponsor / Bill Number at this time

Federal law mandates hospitals post prices publically, however, a state-level law would push more facilities to comply. Right now only about 40% of hospitals follow the federal statute. Hospitals have certain deals with insurance companies and prices can vary from hospital to hospital. Members of the public have a right to make informed decisions when seeking healthcare, depending upon their coverage. 

What CWA is fighting for: State-level legislation that would help enforce federal law for hospitals to post their prices publically for the public to make informed decisions on where they receive care. 

7. Abolish COAH – Sen. Singleton & Senate President Scutari / AMs Wimberley, Reynolds-Jackson, Lopez, and Speaker Coughlin (S50A4)

Update March 19: PASSED!

The NJ Commission On Affordable Housing (COAH) is a defunct body used by Governor Christie to stop progress on affordable housing. The state court has taken over the process to much success. However, without legislation to abolish COAH, we could see future governors stalling on the expansion of affordable housing developments. 

  • The expansion of affordable housing allows those in the middle class to live closer to where they work. 
  • Affordable housing helps create more inclusive communities by providing housing options for people of diverse income levels.
  • Families in affordable housing are more likely to stay in one location, allowing children to build long-term relationships with peers and educators.

What CWA is fighting for: This bill would codify a new system for approving municipal affordable housing plans and abolish COAH once and for all. 

8. Family Leave Act Extension: Sen Cryan / A3451 AMs Quijano, Reynolds-Jackson, and Speaker Coughlin

All workers, including those working for some of New Jersey’s smallest businesses, deserve family leave benefits. Workers should not have to choose between their families and their jobs. 

What CWA is fighting for: To revise the current law around family leave to extend to businesses with five or more employees.