Legislation Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Nancy Pinkin and Raj Mukherji sponsored to facilitate the licensing process for home health aides and help more trained New Jersey residents secure employment gained approval from the General Assembly on Monday.
“Home health aides provide services that help people live comfortably in their home environments. Such services have become more critical as New Jersey residents live longer,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The state has set aside money to ensure that the demand for licensed home health aides is met, but unless that allocation is spent on its intended purpose – expediting the licensing process – qualified workers will not be to find jobs and those who need care will not receive their assistance.”
The bill (A-3328) would ensure that $250,000 from the Fiscal Year 2016 budget allocated to the Board of Nursing by a legislative resolution is expended by the board during the fiscal year – which ends Thursday – to hire more staff and cover other expenses needed to process and eliminate the home health aide application backlog.
“For many in New Jersey who have received the necessary training and want to begin a career as a home health aide, waiting months for a license is discouraging,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “This legislation will ensure that funds are used to speed up the process and bolster a sector of the workforce that cares for some of our most vulnerable residents.”
“Seniors, individuals with disabilities and others who require the help of home health aides should not have to suffer because of delays in the licensing process,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “With this bill, New Jersey is taking action to support both professional caregivers and the many men and women who depend on them.”
The measure cleared the Assembly 66-9.