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Vows to Remain Watchdog for New Jersey’s Most Vulnerable

Called a “Voice for the Voiceless” by advocates of individuals with developmental disabilities, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) will continue her chairmanship of the Assembly Human Services Committee.

“I’d like to thank leadership for expressing their continued confidence in me to lead this committee,” said Vainieri Huttle. “The Assembly Human Services Committee is charged with improving the lives of our state’s most vulnerable citizens and the committee certainly did that last session in a constructive and bipartisan way. I look forward to working with the dedicated members of the new committee to enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health issues, and I am committed to maintaining our state’s safety net for struggling families in this difficult economic time.”

Vainieri Huttle pointed to the accomplishments of her committee last session, such as creating New Jersey’s Non-Profit Information Center, a one-stop portal for non-profit organizations on the Department of State’s website; passing legislation to better prevent youth suicide; establishing a registry to identify abuse in the developmental disability community; and requiring the Department of Human Services to maintain a database on individuals with developmental disabilities so families are aware of the services and opportunities available to them.

Vainieri Huttle also led her committee on a tour of all of the state’s developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals, as well as to community residences, to better understand the special needs housing crisis in New Jersey and address the 8,000 person waiting list.

The Assembly Human Services Committee is scheduled to meet for the first time this session on February 2 at 1 p.m.