The Assembly Women and Children Committee held a meeting on Wednesday to receive testimony on New Jersey’s system of care for children with disabilities. The committee also advanced legislation addressing food insecurity, youth sports, and respite care for children with functional impairments.
Vice-Chair Lisa Swain (D-Bergen Passaic) led today’s committee and opened with the following remarks:
“As always, the legislation and topics our committee will consider today aim to address the needs of countless children and families throughout our state.
“It would be an understatement to say New Jersey residents have had a very difficult year-and-a-half. One of the many challenges our community members are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is food insecurity. The package of bills before us today, sponsored by Speaker Coughlin and several of our legislative colleagues, seeks to improve and enhance access to food assistance programs in our state so that families won’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
“In addition to food insecurity, we must also focus on the essential rights and needs of New Jersey’s children. That is why we will consider legislation to expand respite care services for certain children and deal with bullying and abuse in youth sports, in addition to holding a hearing on our state’s system of care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I want to recognize my fellow sponsors, including my fellow District 38 representative Assemblyman Tully, and every member of this committee for your advocacy on these important issues. I also want to thank everyone testifying before us about the challenges families face in trying to access and navigate New Jersey’s system of care. Your input will be invaluable to our committee.”