TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew to create a task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s seven developmental centers and to develop a plan for the future of developmental centers in this state, which may include recommendations for facility closures, received final approval today in the Senate.
The senator introduced the bill after a provision was included in the FY2012 State budget to close the Vineland Developmental Center. The bill (S-2928) would provide for a thorough review of all of the state’s centers that takes into account the needs of facility residents and the potential economic impact of a closure on the region.
“My number one concern with the proposal to close the Vineland Developmental Center was that it was put forward without a reasonable plan for the future of the residents and no consideration as to how a closure would affect the region economically,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). “I have always believed that any plan to close a developmental center must be based on a thorough, state-wide review of all of the state’s facilities. This task force allows for that to occur, and most importantly, ensures that Vineland will not close without a full and comprehensive review of the entire state.”