Letter: Give financial relief to family caregivers in New Jersey

South Jersey Times Letters
March 27, 2014
Jim Dieterle - State Director of AARP, Letter to the Editor
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To the Editor:

There are 1.75 million family caregivers in New Jersey who provide more than 1 billion hours of unpaid care each year to help an aging loved one live independently at home. Families are the bedrock of our long-term health care system.

While invaluable in myriad of ways, the value to our society of the hours of support being provided by family caregivers in monetary terms would equal $13 billion a year. However, caring for an older family member can create a financial strain for many families, who often spend thousands of out-of-pocket-dollars in the process of being caregivers. With the expected increase in our aging population, it is time to recognize the value of family caregivers and provide a little help.

AARP New Jersey commends Sen. Donald Norcross, D-5, of Camden, and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-6, of Cherry Hill, for their sponsorship of the Caregiver’s Assistance Act (S841). If enacted, the bill would provide a state income tax credit of up to $675 to income-eligible family caregivers who are caring for an aging relative living at home.

The bill passed the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on March 17, and we thank the committee’s chairman, Joseph Vitale, for posting and supporting it.

Opinion: Equal Pay Day in N.J. - Pay gap exists across all demographic lines

Times of Trenton
April 8, 2014
Laurel Brennan, Opinion
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For working women all across the state, today may feel just like another workday, but it’s actually much more. Today is Equal Pay Day.

Women on average are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues, according to a report by the American Association of University Women. Or, to put it a different way, women essentially work the first quarter of the calendar for free. If all workers got paid on a daily basis, men have been getting their wages in full since Jan 1. Women would only get their first paycheck today.

Nearly six decades after women began to assert themselves in the workplace, and after countless examples of women working at the same – if not higher – levels and standards as men, that we even need to commemorate Equal Pay Day is disappointing. Equal work should demand equal pay, regardless of race, gender or age. Unfortunately, the working world is still far from this ideal.

The pay gap exists across all demographic lines. Women of color make decidedly less than white men in the same occupations. Latinas, for example, are paid only 53 percent of what their white male counterparts make, the AAUW reports. An older woman will see the pay gap actually widen with age, as if experience in the workplace makes her less valuable to her employer.

NJ drivers support mandatory practice for teens, orientation class for parents, AAA survey says

Star Ledger
April 9, 2014
Steve Strunsky
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A survey by AAA of New Jersey found that most motorists support a mandatory 50 hours of practice for teens seeking a driver's license, and a requirement that their parents take a class informing them of permit restrictions.

The provisions supported in the survey mirror those in a bill now pending in the Assembly. The bill, A-1699, bill was reintroduced in January after having been approved by the Senate and Assembly two years earlier, but allowed to die by Gov. Chris Christie, who failed to sign it by the end of the legislative session in January 2012.

A spokesman for Christie said at the time that he took no action on the measure, a non-move known as a pocket veto, because it was among dozens of bills to land on the governor's desk during the session's eleventh hour that Christie did not wish to merely rubber stamp.

The survey of 1,000 motorists statewide taken in November 2013 found that 63 percent of respondents would "strongly support" and 17 percent would "somewhat support" what AAA defined as, "a new law in New Jersey that would require the teen to log 50 practice hours of driving before they obtain their driver's license."

“These results show that motorists believe these types of programs are critical to keeping teens safe on the roadways.”

Cherry Hill job fair draws hundreds

Sun News
May 23, 2012
By Melissa Dipento

Just over 8 percent of Americans are unemployed – that’s the word from the U.S. Department of Labor as of April.

But New Jersey has a little work to do before catching up with the rest of the country. Even though unemployment has dropped in recent months, 9 percent of New Jersey residents are still without work.

But that hasn’t got everybody down.

Armed with a stack of resumes and a smile, Alyssa Yackle strolled around the Cherry Hill National Guard Armory last week hoping to make some professional connections at the Job and Resources Fair, hosted by the Sixth Legislative District’s representatives.

The Chews Landing native, who recently graduated from Rutgers-Camden with a master’s degree in public health, just returned from doing international fieldwork in Cuba.

She said she wasn’t discouraged by the hundreds of residents who were also vying for the same jobs at the event.

“A lot of people were taking resumes, which was encouraging,” Yackle said. “My aunt recommended the event to me, so I’m checking out all my possibilities.”

Abe Caceres said he came to the job fair in the hopes of finding a career he could transition into. He’s still employed, but said he was seeking a managerial business role.

As a veteran who served in the Armed Forces until 2006, Caceres said he is impressed with efforts to target veterans, specifically for employment.

NJ legislators target women's pay inequality

Bergen Record
February 20, 2012
By Hugh R. Morley

Bill to address male-female inequality failed to get Senate support in 2010.

New Jersey legislators are prodding Congress into addressing what they see as the stubborn inequality, and unfairness, between men's and women's pay.

The Assembly last week overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act., which is stalled.

The federal bill would make it tougher for employers to pay women less than men, and easier for female workers to seek legal remedies if it happens.

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, D-Camden, who sponsored the bill, said U.S. census data show that women in New Jersey earn about 79 cents for every dollar earned by men.

"Even though we have women being educated at a much higher rate than men, the minute they walk out the [college] door, the minute they go for their first job, they are instantly paid less than men," Lampitt said.

A state Senate version of the bill is before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

The federal Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced in 2009 and 2010, and failed to get the support of the Senate in November 2010, with most Democrats backing it and Republicans opposing it. Supporters reintroduced the bill last April, when President Obama said he would back it.

Opponents, including business groups, said the bill would hamstring employers in setting pay levels and make companies vulnerable to expensive and disruptive litigation over the issue.