[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2928

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 6, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Stack and Beach

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes "Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended on August 25, 2011 by the Senate pursuant to the Governor's recommendations.

  


An Act establishing the "Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers."

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     21.   The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     The closure of developmental centers advances New Jersey's efforts to comply with the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), which requires states to provide community living options and other supports to individuals with developmental disabilities who do not require or want institutionalized care;

     b.    Continuing New Jersey's commitment to providing individuals with developmental disabilities the ability to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, consistent with the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, is critical to ensure a better quality of life;

     c.     It is our goal to reduce the number of developmental centers, while being consistent with federal Medicaid law, and that such centers shall be utilized primarily to provide specialty services for individuals with developmental disabilities who exhibit high-risk behaviors, have intense medical needs, or are court-ordered;

     d.    The State operates more developmental centers than necessary to support a declining population of individuals with developmental disabilities, which has decreased by approximately 1,200 individuals, or 33 percent, since 1998;

     e.     It is our goal to affirm the State's commitment to reducing reliance on institutional care, along with expanding community living options; and

     f.     It is important for the State to affirm its commitment to provide individuals with developmental disabilities who are institutionalized with the opportunity to live in the community, consistent with the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, and to realign fiscal, staffing, and operational resources to support community living.2

 

     2[1.] 2.2    There is established the "Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers." The task force shall perform a comprehensive evaluation of all of the State developmental centers and 2[prepare a plan that provides] provide recommendations2 for the closing of developmental centers 2[in an orderly manner that complies with the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), and enables a person with a developmental disability to receive services and supports in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the person's needs]2.

 

     2[2.] 3.2    a.  The task force shall be comprised of 2[11] five2 members 2who shall be appointed within 30 days of the effective date of this act,2 as follows:

     (1)   2[the Commissioner of Human Services or the commissioner's designee, who shall serve ex officio; 1and1

     (2)   1[two members of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate, no more than one of whom is from the same political party;

     (3)   two members of the General Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than one of whom is from the same political party; and

     (4)   six] 101 public members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall include:  one person with expertise in evaluating the economic impact on a community of closing a major employment site; one person 1[recommended by a Statewide advocacy group that supports the closure of developmental centers; one person recommended by a Statewide advocacy group that opposes the closure of developmental centers] who represents The Arc of New Jersey; one person who represents Disability Rights New Jersey1; the Executive Director of The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities or the Executive Director's designee; one faculty member from the School of Social Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who has expertise in the administration of human services programs; 1one person who represents families of residents of developmental centers; two health care professionals, one of whom provides care for individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in developmental centers, and one of whom provides care for individuals with developmental disabilities in the community; one person who has expertise in legal issues that impact individuals with developmental disabilities;1 and one person who represents 1[organized] a1 labor 1union that represents direct care staff at developmental centers1] three members appointed by the Governor;

     (2) one public member appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the President of the Senate; and

     (3) one public member appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly2.

     Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments.

     b.    The task force shall organize 2[as soon as practicable] within 30 days2 following the appointment of 2a majority of2 its members and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among the members.  2[The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.]2

     c.     The 2[public]2 members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and within the limits of funds available to the task force.

     d.    The task force shall 2[be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.

     e.     The task force shall meet and hold 1[hearings as it deems appropriate] a minimum of three public meetings, at least one of each shall be held in the southern, central and northern regions of the State1] make recommendations by a majority vote of its members2 .

     2[f.]e.2       The Department of Human Services shall provide staff support to the task force.

 

     2[3.] 4.2 [1a.1]      The task force shall perform a comprehensive evaluation of the 2[seven]2 State developmental centers, 1[which shall, at a minimum, include a review of each developmental center to determine] and 2[prepare a plan] set forth recommendations2 for the 2[future] closure2 of developmental centers in the State.  The 2[plan] recommendations2 , which shall be binding on the Department of Human Services, may provide for the closure of one or more developmental centers 2[based on].  The recommendations for closure of a developmental center shall consider2 the following criteria1 2in order of importance2:

     2[(1)]a.2     the number of 2[persons] individuals2 with developmental disabilities residing in 2[the] a2 developmental center who 2[have requested a] want or do not oppose, or if applicable, whose guardians want or do not oppose,2 community placement and whose interdisciplinary teams have recommended such a placement;

     2[(2)  the number of persons with developmental disabilities residing in the developmental center and their families or guardians who have expressed a desire to remain in a developmental center;

     (3)   the number of persons with developmental disabilities residing in the developmental center who require 24-hour supervision;

     (4)] b.  the present capacity of the community to provide or develop specialized services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities or the time required to allow for the development of the capacity to provide such specialized services;

     c.  the operational needs of the Department of Human Services in meeting the range of needs and preferences of all affected individuals served by the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services;

     d.    the economic impact on the community in which the developmental center is located if that center were to close; and

     e.2   the projected repair and maintenance costs of the developmental center 2[;

     (5)   the capacity of the surrounding community to provide services and supports to persons with developmental disabilities; and

     (6)   the economic impact on the community in which the developmental center is located if that center were to close.

     1[b. The task force shall develop a developmental center closure plan that is based on the comprehensive evaluation.  The plan]1 If the plan provides for the closure of developmental centers, it1 shall provide a prioritization for the closing of those developmental centers that the task force determines should be closed and strategies for the development of community placements] as estimated by the Department of Human Services2 .

 

     2[4.] 5.2    No 2[later] sooner2 than 2[six months] 90 days but not later than 180 days2 after the task force organizes, the task force shall submit its closure 2[plan] recommendations, including, if applicable, a targeted date for closure of each developmental center recommended for closure2, and make such 2other2 recommendations as the task force deems appropriate, to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).

 

     26.  a.  If applicable, the Department of Human Services shall close each of the developmental centers recommended by the task force as soon as practicable in accordance with a schedule that takes into account the needs of the residents of any developmental center to be closed and any appropriate operational concerns of the developmental centers and the community services system.

     b.  Nothing in this act shall limit the commissioner's authority pursuant to R.S.30:1-12 or the discretion to take the actions authorized by sections 1 and 2 of P.1996, c.150 (C.30:1-7.3 and C.30:1-7.4), as the commissioner may deem appropriate.2

 

     2[5.] 7.2    This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the submission by the task force of its closure 2[plan] recommendations2 to the Governor and the Legislature 2or 180 days after the task force organizes, whichever is sooner2.