TRENTON – Bipartisan legislation Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono sponsored to streamline contracting and licensing procedures at the state departments of Human Services and Children and Families to eliminate red tape and foster greater collaboration between the agencies was today passed by the Senate.
The bill (A-2366/S-2331) aims to eliminate duplication by creating more uniform contracting requirements for the social service organizations that work with clients of the two departments. It is based on a recommendation of the Governor’s Transition Subcommittee for the Departments of Human Services and Children and Families.
“Social service organizations play an invaluable role in providing critical assistance to many New Jerseyans, and some provide services across multiple departments,” said Buono (D-Middlesex). “Wherever possible, we need to modernize the ways state officials and their partner organizations operate when providing services to multiple clienteles. Doing so will enable state government to more easily fulfill its service mission and positively impact the lives of those who are struggling to make ends meet.”
Specifically, the bill would require uniform contracting requirements – including reporting procedures, audit schedules and centralized licensing review procedures – for social service organizations that contract with the Department of Human Services or Department of Children and Families, or both. The measure also would allow the departments to enter into a multi-year contract with a social service organization that has a proven record of compliance with contracting requirements and licensing standards; currently, the departments can only contract year-to-year.
The measure is cosponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth/Mercer).
The bill, which previously had cleared the Assembly, passed 38-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature to make it law.