(TRENTON) – Assembly Human Services Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following statement after the Christie administration delayed implementing a law adopted last session (A-1618) to allow for involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment for some individuals struggling with mental illness:
“The administration does not have the authority to simply chose whether to implement laws. That arrogance is unacceptable in any situation, but it’s especially appalling when it threatens public safety and the health of those struggling with mental illness.
“This law wasn’t created for the fun of it.
“It was created after several horrific incidents involving individuals with mental illness who declined to accept treatment. These weren’t routine incidents. They involved the deaths of innocent New Jerseyans, including children.
“This law is meant to prevent further tragedies, but under this Christie administration decision I fear we will see more.
“This law, quite simply, is to be implemented and the appropriate care given to all clients of our mental health services.
“Under the direction of Speaker Oliver, I will soon convene an Assembly Human Services Committee hearing to demand answers from this administration for this reckless and irresponsible decision.”