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Wimberly: "Need a Better Game Plan" for North Jersey Developmental Center Closings

(Paterson) – Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic), a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement after hearing testimony from the Department of Human Services:

“The families and employees who live in North Jersey cities, such as Paterson have been greatly impacted by the closings of the North Jersey and Woodbridge developmental centers.

“Right now, we are seeing a loss of jobs, income and critical care for our most vulnerable population. We are not seeing a solid plan to help those affected by the closings.

“There is a measure of unpreparedness here that is unnerving. Families are concerned, and rightfully so, about the distance for them and their loved ones to Vineland for care and visits. Most employees have been left without work or will be made to travel far to get to work, if they are hired at the remaining centers.

“Commissioner Velez seems aware of the effects the closings are having on residents. However, our communities still deserve better implementation of the game plan than the “bumping” system where either way, residents and patients will be pushed out of work and the care they need to make it day-to-day.”