Sweeney-Codey Bill to Protect Mental Health Services Becomes Law

Trenton – In an effort to protect New Jersey residents receiving publicly financed mental health, behavioral health, and addiction services, legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Richard Codey, that would ensure and improve the delivery of these services through state contracts without disruption was signed into law today.

The law, S-2708, requires state contracts to contain a commitment that service will not be disrupted or delayed by labor disputes.

“Mental and behavioral health services are critical to the health, safety and well-being of all New Jersey residents,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The recipients of these services are our state’s most vulnerable population and any disruption, whether in the middle of a pandemic or not, can be life-threatening and even endanger the public at large. These workers are essential and they deserve all the protections we can provide.”

“Any disruption in the care and support of those receiving mental health services can have a serious impact,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex). “Continuity is important for the patients and the caregivers. We have to be especially vigilant during the pandemic because of the toll it can take on the well-being of those who are managing mental health issues.”

Under a temporary provision in the law, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, service providers contracting with the state are required to make a good faith effort to comply with the minimum health and safety protocols.