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Senate President Richard J. Codey testifying at the Senate Education Committee’s hearing on underage drinking on college campuses.

TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senators Richard J. Codey and Joseph Vitale that would require the Department of Community Affairs to post all inspection reports of residential health care facilities on its website cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today. The bill, S-1856, would also require municipalities to file inspection reports of rooming or boarding houses and emergency shelters with the DCA, and those reports would be posted on the DCA web site as well.

“This bill is about transparency and giving residents and their families greater access to information about the conditions of these facilities,” said Codey (D-Essex, Morris). “Unfortunately, we have seen too many instances where these facilities are not up to standards, and history has shown that transparency leads to great accountability.”

“Transparency is the best disinfectant. By providing the public quick access to inspection reports, these facilities will face greater scrutiny that will lead to better living conditions,” said Vitale.

Codey is one of the state’s leading advocates for residents with developmental disabilities and a staunch critic of poor conditions at state residential health care facilities and boarding houses. He has organized surprise raids of some facilities, including a Newark boarding home in March that resulted in the relocation of 47 residents due to fire safety and health violations.

The bill passed by a 9-0 vote.

Legislation sponsored by Codey that would require the temperature at residential health care facilities, emergency homeless shelters, rooming and boarding houses to be maintained within a range of 65 through 81 degrees Fahrenheit also passed the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today. The bill, S-1961, passed by a 9-0 vote.

“I’ve been in these facilities in the winter where the temperature inside was below 60 degrees and in the summer when the temperature was above 81 degrees. These residents have hit hard times and live in the shadows of society, and this bill is about providing them safe and comfortable temperatures while living in these facilities,” said Codey.

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