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Mazzeo Introduces Bill to Restore Funding Cut by Christie Administration for Women’s Health Care

Bill would restore funding that was slashed by governor in 2010

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) introduced legislation yesterday to restore funding cut years ago for women’s health care in the FY 2018 budget.

“With so much uncertainty over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, it is even more pressing that we allocate funding to help ensure that women and children in our state will have access to life-saving health care services,” said Mazzeo. “Access to health care is a right, not a privilege.”

The bill (A-4718) would provide $7,453,000 in supplemental funding for the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Appropriations Act for Family Planning Services grants through the state Department of Health.

The bill specifies that the funding may not be used for abortion procedures.

Appropriations for these grants were eliminated in Fiscal Year 2011 and have not been reinstated despite multiple attempts by the Legislature to restore the critical funding. The elimination of this funding resulted in both the closing of centers that provide family planning services and a reduction in the availability of such services, as the remaining sources of federal and private funding for the centers were insufficient to maintain existing services.

“This helps improve public health and helps saves money in the long run by providing preemptive care,” added Mazzeo. “It is not only the right thing to do, but makes sense economically.”

The bill would restore state funding for family planning centers to previous levels, thereby increasing the availability of family planning services. The bill would also improve the ability of these centers to compete for additional federal Title X family planning grants, which fund no less than 90 percent of grant recipients’ approved project costs and require a non-federal match of no more than 10 percent.

The bill is sponsored or co-sponsored by every woman Democratic legislator in the Assembly.