Vitale Statement On Velez Nomination To Stay On As Dhs Commissioner

TRENTON – Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Vice Chair, Senator Joseph F. Vitale, D-Middlesex, issued the following statement today regarding Governor-Elect Chris Christie’s re-nomination of Jenn Velez to lead the State Department of Human Services:

“I thank Governor-Elect Christie for making an excellent choice. Commissioner Velez has been an outstanding leader of a complex department and a determined advocate for the populations it serves.

“Whether it’s Medicaid recipients, New Jersey’s vast working poor population, or children and adults living with developmental disabilities, Commissioner Velez has proven a capable administrator who has put limited resources to maximum benefit for the people of New Jersey.

“In particular, she has been a strong partner in our efforts to expand NJ FamilyCare in order to provide health care coverage for the millions of New Jersey’s residents who are uninsured. She has worked to eliminate waste in the State’s Medicaid system, to make sure that our health care dollars are going to places where they’ll do the most good, and not squandered on fraudulent claims. And she has shown compassion and care for the developmental disability community, supporting programs that make a difference in the lives of those people living with disabilities and their families.

“As we move ahead in difficult economic times, I hope Governor-Elect Christie will continue to support the Department as much as possible as it works to fulfill our State’s responsibility to those in greatest need. The re-appointment of Commissioner Velez is a promising start, and I look forward to working with the new Governor, as well as the Commissioner, to provide a helping hand to those State residents who need our support the most.”