Gordon Bill Expanding Services For Individuals With Developmental Disabilities Passes Senate Committee

Legislation Would Allow for Public-Private Partnerships to Provide Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

A Senate committee today released legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon that would expand options for those needing support services enrolled in the Department of Human Services’ “waiting list.”

“More than 5,000 people are waiting for various services throughout the state and are currently on the Division of Developmental Disabilities waiting list,” said Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic). “For a variety of reasons, there are still many individuals with developmental disabilities needing access to support services. I hope that this legislation will be helpful in finding creative ways to get the necessary services to those who need them and help to reduce the number of people on the list.”

The “Innovative Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act” would encourage new and innovative methods of expanding services by creating new public-private partnerships to address gaps in service programs and shortages in community residential placements for those on the waiting list. Under this bill, the Department of Human Services would be permitted to use private funding sources to serve persons with developmental disabilities.

“This bill will give a little hope for families who are concerned about the welfare of their loved ones and want to ensure they have the services they need in the years to come. Budget cuts and shifting priorities have made it increasingly difficult to provide these services. This would allow the State to find new and innovative ways to expand services for those on the waiting list,” said Gordon.

The bill was released by the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens’ Committee by a vote of 9-0-1.