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Bill is First Sponsored by Fuentes to Become Law
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Angel Fuentes, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Fred Scalera and Linda Greenstein sponsored to protect New Jersey residents with disabilities from abusive caregivers was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Chris Christie.

“One of government’s primary objectives is to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” said Fuentes (D-Camden). “Creating a registry of abusive caregivers allows us to better protect individuals who must rely on the care of others to survive.”

Fuentes is the bill’s primary sponsor, and the measure is the first sponsored by Fuentes to become law since he joined the Assembly in January.

“This registry will help root out abusive caregivers who may currently be flying under the radar,” said Vainieri Huttle, the Assembly Human Services chairwoman. “We must send a clear, strong message that abuse of these individuals will not be tolerated in New Jersey.”

Under the law (A-2038), the state Department of Human Services (DHS) will create a Central Registry of Offenders Against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, which will identify caregivers who have wrongfully caused injury to a developmentally disabled individual.

“This is a common sense step toward ensuring those who are least able to protect themselves are protected against known abusers,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Those who show such reckless disregard for the disabled that they cause injury should be tracked to make sure they’re not in position to repeat their abuse.”

“In this day and age, where so much information is so readily available, this registry is a must,” said Scalera (D-Essex/Bergen/Passaic). “We can do more to protect disabled individuals and this is a step in the right direction toward ensuring they’re sheltered from abusive caregivers.”

“With this law we’re moving in the right direction to ensure known abusers are kept away from those who cannot protect themselves,” said Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “This is a humane step toward a better life for our disabled residents.”

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