ASSEMBLY, No. 3062
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 20, 2020
Assemblywoman ELIANA PINTOR MARIN
District 29 (Essex)
Assemblyman WILLIAM F. MOEN, JR.
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman VERLINA REYNOLDS-JACKSON
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senator NELLIE POU
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Senator NILSA I. CRUZ-PEREZ
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman Murphy, Assemblymen Moriarty, Stanley, Assemblywoman Timberlake, Assemblymen Calabrese, Coughlin and Senator Ruiz
Establishes three year Financial Empowerment Pilot Program.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on March 5, 2020, with amendments.
An Act establishing the Financial Empowerment Pilot Program.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. There is established in the Department of Community Affairs a Financial Empowerment Pilot Program. The purpose of the pilot program shall be to address financial literacy and empowerment issues for economically vulnerable individuals in the State through municipal financial empowerment centers. The municipalities of Camden, 1New Brunswick,1 Newark, 1[and]1 Paterson 1, and Trenton1 shall participate in the pilot program with the department.
b. The pilot program, in consultation with the participating municipality, shall contract with a non-profit provider to establish a financial empowerment center in each of the participating municipalities in a location that is easily accessible to the residents of that municipality. The financial empowerment centers shall facilitate appropriate forums, programs, or initiatives designed to educate the public regarding financial literacy and empowerment and provide personal financial coaching to economically vulnerable individuals.
c. The pilot program shall run for a period of three years following establishment of the financial empowerment centers pursuant to this section.
2. a. The pilot program shall establish metrics and standards to track counseling efforts and results for economically vulnerable individuals, and shall provide methods for implementing those standards at the financial empowerment centers, in the following areas:
(1) the opening of or transitioning to a safe and affordable bank account;
(2) the establishment of a credit score, or the increase in an existing credit score;
(3) the decrease of non-mortgage debt; and
(4) the increase in rate of savings.
b. The pilot program shall provide the centers with support services, including materials on financial literacy and empowerment for publication and dissemination to the public and shall coordinate the activities of the pilot program with other entities that focus on financial literacy and empowerment, including other State agencies.
3. a. The program shall submit a report to the Commissioner of Community Affairs no later than two months after the conclusion of the pilot program. The report shall include, at a minimum, information on the counseling efforts and results established and tracked pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of this act, for each financial empowerment center.
b. After receiving the report, the commissioner shall submit a report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), on the implementation and effectiveness of the pilot program no later than two months after the pilot program issues its report to the commissioner. The report shall include the commissioner’s recommendation on the advisability of the pilot program’s continuation and expansion to additional municipalities in the State.
4. All monies received by the State from the settlement of the complaint of the Federal Trade Commission against Equifax, Inc., after accounting for any costs incurred by the Attorney General in participating in the complaint, shall be transferred to the Department of Community Affairs for the purposes of effectuating the provisions of this act. The moneys may also be expended for appropriate and reasonable administrative expenses incurred in the administration of the pilot program by the department.
5. This act shall take immediately and shall expire upon submission of the final report required to be prepared under section 3 of this act.