SENATE, No. 3153

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 5, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† NELLIE POU

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Senator† JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Lagana, Gill and Ruiz

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to establish long-term care advocacy and educational training program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning long-term care and amending P.L.1977, c.239.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† Section 5 of PL.1977, c.239 (C.52:27G-5) is amended to read as follows:†

†††† 5.††† The ombudsman, as administrator and chief executive officer of the office, shall:

†††† a.†††† Administer and organize the work of the office and establish therein such administrative subdivisions as [he may deem] necessary, proper, and expedient.† He or she may formulate and adopt rules and regulations and prescribe duties for the efficient conduct of the business, work, and general administration of the office.† He or she may delegate to subordinate officers or employees in the office such [of his] power as [he] may [deem] be desirable to be exercised under his or her supervision and control;

†††† b.††† Appoint and remove such stenographic, clerical, and other secretarial assistants as may be required for the proper conduct of the office, subject to the provisions of Title 11 (Civil Service) of the Revised Statutes, and other applicable statutes, and within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available therefor.† In addition, and within such funding limits, the ombudsman may appoint, retain, or employ, without regard to the provisions of the said Title 11 (Civil Service), or any other statutes, such officers, investigators, experts, consultants, or other professionally qualified personnel on a contract basis or otherwise as [he deems] necessary.

†††† c.†††† Appoint and employ, notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1944, c.20 (C.52:17A-1 et seq.), a general counsel and such other attorneys or counsel as he or she may require, for the purpose, among other things, of providing legal advice on such matters as the ombudsman may from time to time require, of attending to and dealing with all litigation, controversies, and legal matters in which the office may be a party or in which its rights and interests may be involved, and† of representing the office in all proceedings or actions of any kind which may be brought for or against it in any court of this State.† With respect to all of the foregoing, such counsel and attorneys shall be independent of any supervision or control by the Attorney General or by the Department of Law and Public Safety, or by any division or officer thereof;

†††† d.††† Have authority to adopt and promulgate pursuant to law such rules and regulations as [he deems] necessary to carry out the purposes of this act;

†††† e.†††† Maintain suitable headquarters for the office and such other

quarters as [he shall deem] necessary to the proper functioning of the office;

†††† f.†††† Solicit and accept grants of funds from the [Federal Government] federal government and from other public and any private sources for any of the purposes of this act; provided, however, that any such funds shall be expended only pursuant to an† appropriation made by law;

†††† g.††† Perform such other functions as may be prescribed in this act or by any† other law; and

†††† h.††† Establish, in consultation with the Department of Health, an annual long-term care training program in a manner to be determined by the ombudsman.† At a minimum, the program shall address the following subjects:† the rights of residents of long-term care facilities; fostering choice and independence among residents of long-term care facilities; identifying and reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of residents of long-term care facilities; long-term care facility ownership; updates on State and federal guidelines, laws, and regulations that pertain to long-term care facilities; and issues, trends, and policies that impact the rights of long-term care residents.† The annual training program shall be completed by the ombudsmanís investigative and advocacy staff, the ombudsmanís volunteer advocates, and Department of Health long-term care facility surveyors, inspectors, and complaint investigators.† Subject to the availability of staff and funding, the training program shall be offered to residents of long-term care facilities, those residentsí family members, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and long-term care facility employees.† To develop and implement the training program, the ombudsman may contract or consult with a non-profit organization that possesses expertise on the rights of residents in long-term care settings.

(cf: P.L.1977, c.239, s.5)

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (ombudsman) to establish a long-term care advocacy and educational training program.†

†††† Under the amended bill, the ombudsman would be required to establish, in consultation with the Department of Health, an annual long-term care training program.† At a minimum, the program is to address the following subjects:† the rights of residents of long-term care facilities; fostering choice and independence among residents of long-term care facilities; identifying and reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of residents of long-term care facilities; long-term care facility ownership; updates on State and federal guidelines, laws, and regulations that pertain to long-term care facilities; and issues, trends, and policies that impact the rights of long-term care residents.† The annual training program is to be completed by the ombudsmanís investigative and advocacy staff, the ombudsmanís volunteer advocates, and Department of Health long-term care facility surveyors, inspectors, and complaint investigators.† Subject to the availability of staff and funding, the training program is to be offered to residents of long-term care facilities, those residentsí family members, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and long-term care facility employees.† To develop and implement the training program, the ombudsman may contract or consult with a non-profit organization that possesses expertise on the rights of residents in long-term care settings.†