N.J. Assembly panel OKs bill concerning developmental disabled adults living in out-of-state facilities

By Stephanie Akin The Record

Some adults with developmental disabilities facing a state-mandated move from out-of-state facilities would get a reprieve under a bill that was moved out of a state Assembly committee Thursday.

The bill, approved by the Assembly Human Services panel, would require the state to continue paying for out-of-state services for people who met a series of conditions, including long-term residence in the facility and family members who live within 15 miles.

“We need to make sure our most vulnerable are not sacrificed for savings, especially when it’s minor savings that carry major consequences,” said Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood, a sponsor of the bill.

The legislation was proposed after Governor Christie conditionally vetoed an earlier measure that would have imposed a blanket moratorium on the state plan, called Return Home New Jersey, until a plan was drafted to ensure that people being moved back to New Jersey would get comparable services and that those who had been living out of state for 10 or more years could stay where they were.