SENATE, No. 2596

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 21, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator  NELLIE POU

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Gordon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires at least one State developmental center in each region of State; requires certain factors to be considered for transfer of residents between developmental centers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning State developmental centers and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.  a.  The Commissioner of Human Services shall ensure that at least one developmental center is retained in each of the western, northern, central, and southern regions of the State.

     b.  As used in this section:

     (1)  the western region shall consist of Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties;

     (2)  the northern region shall consist of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, and Union counties;

     (3)  the central region shall consist of Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties; and

     (4)  the southern region shall consist of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem counties.

     c.  In the case of a transfer of a resident from one developmental center to another, the commissioner shall equally consider:

     (1) the resident's medical needs;

     (2) the resident's social needs; and

     (3) the distance between the resident's family or guardian, as appropriate, and the proposed developmental center to which the resident is to be transferred, in order to permit continuation of the resident's relationship with the family or guardian, as appropriate.

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Commissioner of Human Services to ensure that at least one State developmental center is retained in each of the western, northern, central, and southern regions of the State.

     Under the bill, the western region is to consist of Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties; the northern region is to consist of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, and Union counties; the central region is to consist of Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties; and the southern region is to consist of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem counties.

     The bill further requires that in the case of a transfer of a resident from one developmental center to another, the commissioner is to equally consider:  the resident's medical needs; the resident's social needs; and the distance between the resident's family or guardian, as appropriate, and the proposed developmental center to which the resident is to be transferred, in order to permit continuation of the resident's relationship with the family or the guardian.

     Currently, there are seven developmental centers located in the various counties throughout the State:  Green Brook Regional Center (Somerset county); Hunterdon Developmental Center (Hunterdon county); New Lisbon Developmental Center (Burlington county); North Jersey Developmental Center (Passaic county); Vineland Developmental Center (Cumberland county); Woodbine Developmental Center (Cape May county); and Woodbridge Developmental Center (Middlesex county).

     The Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers issued a binding recommendation in its August 1, 2012 report to close North Jersey Developmental Center in Passaic county, followed by Woodbridge Developmental Center in Middlesex county, within the next five years.  Pursuant to this recommendation, there would be no developmental centers in the northern or central regions of the State.  This legislation is intended to reverse the recommendation so that each region, as described above, would be served by at least one developmental center.