SPEAKER OLIVER: COMMITTEE TO HOLD HEARING INTO CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION’S FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT MENTAL HEALTH LAW

Says Decision Threatens Public Safety

(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) on Tuesday released the following statement after the Christie administration delayed implementing a law she sponsored last session (A-1618) to allow for involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment for some individuals struggling with mental illness:

“This law wasn’t created in a vacuum. It was created after several tragic incidents involving individuals who had been diagnosed with mental illness yet refused treatment. These incidents involved deaths that could have otherwise been avoided.

“This law is designed to make certain people who represent a danger to themselves are compliant with a treatment plan and a regiment of medication.

“It will be tremendous help to families and those trying to overcome mental illness. It will save lives. It is the right thing to do.

“The executive branch must do its job properly and implement this law as required, while continuing appropriate treatment for other patients.

“I expect the Assembly Human Services Committee under the leadership of Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle to soon call a hearing into this matter to get an explanation of this unfortunate decision by the administration.”