Vainieri Huttle Urges Christie Admin Not to Close Woodbridge Developmental Center and Leave Two-Thirds of State Vulnerable

Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Submits Testimony as State Holds Public Hearing to Rush Closure of Central Jersey Facility

Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Monday formally expressed her opposition to the Christie administration’s rushed closure of Woodbridge Developmental Center as the state held a public hearing on the matter in New Brunswick today.

In a letter to New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Vainieri Huttle emphasized the fact that the closure will leave two-thirds of the state without a developmental center, uproot residents with severe disabilities and force their loved ones to travel great distances to visit.

“I have repeatedly expressed my opposition to the administration’s decision to close both of our developmental centers in Totowa and Woodbridge,” said Vainieri Huttle. “This hasty decision will leave a vast majority of our state without a facility to serve the specialized needs of individuals with severe developmental disabilities. This move is all the more disturbing in light of the state’s sudden, accelerated time frame and the incidents that have arisen jeopardizing the safety of some of our most vulnerable.

“At the very least, family members and stakeholders deserve better, not a mere three-hour window to air their concerns at a public hearing held after a long holiday weekend with little advance notice. This is just one more insult in a long, painful process.”

A full copy of Vainieri Huttle’s testimony letter to Commissioner Velez can be viewed here.