Assembly Advances Vainieri-Huttle, Wagner & Eustace Bill Aimed At Improving Care in State Developmental Facilities

(TRENTON) – The full Assembly advanced legislation today sponsored by Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace focusing on ensuring individuals with developmental disabilities have access to care in the most appropriate.

“I have been to all seven of our state’s centers and I have met with the residents and their families. The centers are not the institutions of the past. They care for our most profoundly developmentally disabled citizens,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “For those who do transition to a community setting, we must make sure that the move is right for them and that it implemented as smoothly as possible.”

The bill (A-3782) would require follow-up studies of former residents of State developmental centers to assess their well-being. Specifically, the studies would make assessments of all former residents of North Jersey Developmental Center and Woodbridge Developmental Center who have made a transition into the community after August 1, 2012.

“The care provided by these centers support many individuals and families in the state and must continue to do so,” said Wagner (D-Bergen, Passaic). “The individuals who are able to and wish to move out of the centers must be monitored throughout the transition process to make sure there are no negative changes in care.”

“In most cases, NJ state developmental centers are providing outstanding service and support in our communities,” Eustace. “We want our health centers to continue providing the best care to the people they serve.”
The measure was approved 76-0; and it will now go to the Senate for further consideration.