AARP Eye Center
AARP NJ Applauds Governor Murphy’s FY 2024 State Budget Proposal that Expands Supports for Older Adults. More Work Needs to be Done to Deliver Financial Relief to Family Caregivers.
AARP New Jersey urges Governor and the NJ Legislature to make family caregiving more affordable with a modest tax credit
TRENTON, N.J. (Feb. 28, 2023) - AARP New Jersey Director of Advocacy, Evelyn Liebman, provided the following statement in response to Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2024 state budget address:
“We applaud Governor Murphy for including a number of AARP New Jersey’s priorities in his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal that will help older adults remain in their homes and communities, like increasing property tax relief, making a full pension payment and addressing the high cost of prescription drugs, but more must be done for our 1 million family caregivers.
“We urge the NJ Legislature to pass the Caregiver’s Assistance Act (A1802/S2021) which makes a necessary investment in family caregivers, who are the lynchpin to ensuring older adults can age at home – where they want to be.
“We commend Governor Murphy for proposing important initiatives that will help older adults remain in the homes and communities they love. However, family caregivers who provide unpaid care for their older loved ones tell us that they need more financial relief; this is financial relief family caregivers have earned.
“Every day, thousands of people in New Jersey care for their spouses, aging parents, or other loved ones – helping them live at home instead of costly nursing homes. This saves New Jersey – and taxpayers – money since nursing home care is mostly paid for by the state, through Medicaid; yet, family caregivers pay out of their own pockets.
“The average family caregiver spends 26% of their income on caregiving activities, and often, they are juggling or sacrificing their job or tapping into their savings to make it work. We need our state legislators to support family caregivers by making family caregiving more affordable. The Caregiver’s Assistance Act would provide a modest, fully refundable, income tax credit of up to $675.
“New Jersey’s sky-high property taxes are another critical factor when it comes to keeping New Jerseyans in their homes, particularly for older residents and those with disabilities living on low-, moderate- and fixed-incomes. We commend Governor Murphy’s proposal to expand the income eligibility requirements for New Jersey’s Senior Freeze program. However, we urge the Governor and NJ Legislature to change the Senior Freeze from a reimbursement to a credit, which 80% of New Jersey voters 50 and older support. This will allow participants to save money upfront instead of receiving money back in the form of a refund. We are also encouraged to hear the Governor’s commitment to fully funding ANCHOR for its second year, which will help ease the property tax burden for homeowners and renters.
“Too many people are having to choose between paying rent, buying food or affording their medications. AARP New Jersey is looking forward to working with the Governor and NJ Legislature to address the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. We are pleased the Governor’s proposal increases the eligibility for the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold prescription drug assistance programs.
“Lastly, financial security in retirement is crucial to helping people remain in their homes and communities and is a core component of our mission to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, including for generations to come.
“AARP applauds the Governor’s proposal to make a full pension payment for the third year in a row. This payment will significantly strengthen the health of these systems, which support hundreds of thousands of New Jersey retirees and their families, as well as save all taxpayers money by reducing the state’s unfunded liability.
“On behalf of AARP New Jersey’s more than 1 million Garden State members and all older New Jerseyans, we look forward to working with the Governor and the NJ Legislature in the coming months to finalize a budget that includes financial relief for family caregivers and other important priorities to ensure the health and financial security for all.”
About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.