Legislation Assemblywomen Cleopatra G. Tucker and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to study the impact of disabilities on individuals in minority and underrepresented communities was released recently by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3632) would require the commissioner of the Department of Health, in consultation with the commissioner of the Department of Human Services, to review the impact of disabilities on individuals in minority and underrepresented communities. The two department heads would be required to submit a report of their findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature within a year of the legislation taking effect.
“The impact study this legislation calls for will enable the state to work toward justice and independence for minorities with disabilities,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “Several disheartening factors related to racial and ethnic background as well as socio-economic class combine to put members of this particular group at a disadvantage. They are often uninsured or underinsured and have less access to public services they require, like high-quality accessible transportation. Improving their overall quality of life starts will understanding the unique challenges they face and determining how we can best address them.”
“Overall, members of racial and ethnic minorities have less access to job opportunities, education, health care, housing and other vital services, and unfortunately, studies show that those with disabilities face even greater challenges in these areas,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “In order to provide the best possible services and to alleviate limitations that burden minorities with disabilities, it is imperative for the state to be proactive.”
After passing in both houses during the last legislative session, the bill was conditionally vetoed by the governor. Tucker in September reintroduced the bill.
The measure was advanced by the Assembly Human Services Committee.