Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight, Annette Quijano, Gabriela Mosquera and Raj Mukherji to appropriate funding on behalf of several public causes, including family planning services, passed the full Assembly Thursday, 49-25-4. Later the same day, it then passed the full Senate, 22-13.
The bill (A-5610) is supplemental to the Fiscal Year 2020 budget and allocates funds to specific organizations and individuals throughout the state. The Assembly’s legislation increases the governor’s proposed allocation of $7.5 million to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) for Family Planning Services by nearly $3 million, to provide a total of $10.4 million.
“Family planning services help people take control of their lives by deciding if and when to start their families,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “With nearly half of all pregnancies nationwide being unintended, it is clear that proper education and resources are needed to address this issue.”
“Unexpected pregnancies can cause undue financial, emotional and health-related hardships in the lives of effected individuals,” said Quijano (D-Union). “With adequate funding, NJDOH is able to help residents prepare for the complexities of parenthood.”
“As an advocate for both women and children, I understand just how critical these services are to ensuring happy and prosperous families,” said Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Wanting and anticipating the birth of a child can make all the difference, which is exactly why New Jersey’s family planning services provide the information necessary for knowledgeable decisions.”
“The entities funded by this bill all provide valuable public services to the people of our state,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “We are proud to support family planning, women’s health, and the causes represented in this legislation, including the invaluable assistance to potential parents.”
In addition to family planning services, the Teaneck school district will receive financial assistance via the funding in this legislation. Money will also be set aside for the provision of legal aid to individuals facing potential detainment or deportation due to their immigration status.
The bill will now head to the Governor for consideration.