Vainieri Huttle, Mosquera, Tucker, McKnight, Mukjerji & Wimberly Bill Ensuring Protections for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Heads Back to Gov
‘Stephen Komninos’ Law’ Will Put Measures in Place to Better Address Reports of Abuse and Neglect in State-Licensed Facilities
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gabriela Mosquera, Cleopatra Tucker, Angela McKnight, Raj Mukherji and Benjie Wimberly to better protect children and adults with development disabilities from potential abuse and neglect by caregivers headed back to the Governor on Thursday after receiving final concurrence from the full Senate.
Both houses of the legislature initially approved the bill in June, but it was subsequently conditionally vetoed by Gov. Christie in July. The Assembly unanimously concurred with the Governor’s recommendations in July.
The bill (A-2503), known as “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” honors the memory of Stephen Komninos, an individual with developmental disabilities who died at the age of 22 while under the care of a private state-licensed facility for individuals with developmental disabilities. Stephen was a non-verbal young man who suffered through many substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect by caregivers. Tragically, the last incident resulted in his death.Read more
Holley, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Designate October “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in NJ Clears Senate
(TRENTON) – An Assembly Joint Resolution sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Jamel Holley, Angela McKnight and Valerie Vainieri Huttle designating October of each year as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in New Jersey (AJR-77) was approved by the full Senate on Thursday.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write spell and sometimes speech.
“Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children and persists throughout life,” said Holley (D-Union). “One out of every 10 people in the United States suffers from dyslexia. The legislation would align New Jersey with national efforts to raise awareness and educate the public on dyslexia and its symptoms.”
“Proper diagnosis of dyslexia, early and appropriate intervention and support from family, teachers, and friends greatly increase a child’s academic success and self-esteem,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “With the designation of October as Dyslexia Awareness Month, we can educate, promote research, and early identification of dyslexia.”
“Children with untreated dyslexia can suffer devastating personal consequences such as dropping or failing out of school,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Dyslexia is a learning disability that, with proper support, can be corrected. Raising awareness of this disability is the key to helping more children and adults find the help they need.”
The Assembly approved the resolution last October. The Senate passed the bill _-_. It will now head to the Governor’s desk for further consideration.
Vainieri Huttle Concerned that Christie’s Plan to Reorganize Mental Health & Addiction Services Will Move Forward without Key Answers or Details
(TRENTON) – Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) expressed disappointment Thursday that the Christie administration’s plan to transfer the state's mental health and addiction services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health will now seemingly move forward.
Vainieri Huttle was the lead sponsor of legislation passed by the Assembly in July that would have blocked this move based on a litany of concerns regarding the content, potential effects, and timing of the planned reorganization. With the plan scheduled to go into effect on Monday, the Senate had scheduled a voting session for tomorrow to take up the matter, however, the session was cancelled this afternoon.
“I’m extremely disappointed that this plan will seemingly take effect now when we still haven’t received any details or answers to the host of questions we have about its implementation.
“With the fate of so many of our most vulnerable residents hanging in the balance, it seems careless to embark on such a complex transition without concrete details when the current administration has one foot out the door. As I have said repeatedly, we have no idea what the impact of this restructuring will be on those who rely on these services, but the one thing we do know is that a change of this magnitude should n