Democrats want moratorium on closing of Vineland Developmental Center

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, (D-34), Essex/Passaic today announced the appointment of Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Cleopatra Tucker and Lou Greenwald to the Legislative Review Panel on State Psychiatric Hospitals and Developmental Centers, a bipartisan body that was recently created by legislation to study issues relating to the care and costs of providing services to clients in these facilities.

Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), Bergen, who will serve as one of the panel’s co-chairs, noted that the Department of Human Services is already in the process of closing the Vineland Developmental Center as proposed by Governor Christie in his FY 2012 budget.

“As the new co-chair of this panel, I am requesting today that the administration place a moratorium on the closure of the Vineland Developmental Center until the panel has had an opportunity to make recommendations on the issue,” she said in a release.  “At the very least, the administration should hold off on this decision until the FY 2012 budget is passed by the legislature since we have not approved this closure yet.”

Vainieri Huttle sent a letter Wednesday to Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez formally making this request and detailing questions that she would like answered by the administration prior to a joint Senate and Assembly committee hearing on the issue, which will take place at the Vineland facility on May 17. Democrats want moratorium on closing of Vineland Developmental Center