Senate Health releases housing and parenting bills

TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee advanced multiple bills on Thursday, including S1401, which would establish a statewide database of the motels and hotels used for emergency assistance placement.

S1401, sponsored by Sen. Ron Rice, (D-28), Newark, cleared the committee by an 8-0-1 vote, with Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego, (R-8), Evesham, abstaining.

The bill would aim to improve housing conditions and services provided to Work First New Jersey and Supplemental Security Income recipients who receive emergency assistance and are temporarily placed in motels and hotels.

The bill also requires that county welfare agency staff visit emergency assistance recipients at least once every three months to assess their status and needs, provide information and referrals, and identify potential building code violations or hazardous living conditions at the motel or hotel and make referrals to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) as necessary. 

Two parenting/guardianship bills released

S1755, sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden, (D-4), Washington, advanced from the committee by a unanimous 9-0 vote.

This bill enacts the “New Jersey Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act,” which was recommended by the New Jersey Law Revision Commission in a February 2011 report. 

This bill would establish uniform procedures designed to address interstate conflicts regarding adult guardianship issues. The bill sets forth procedures with regard to sharing of the information between courts concerning guardianship and protective proceedings. Such information includes: testimony; evidence; evaluations and assessments; transcripts; and medical, financial, criminal or other relevant information, according to the legislation. 

S1755 is modeled after the “Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act,” which was approved in 2007 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Similar bills have been adopted in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

S611, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, passed by an 8-0-1 vote. Addiego abstained.

This bill requires that each county in New Jersey establish a county-based center for transition for young adults with developmental disabilities. 

“Gloucester County recently established the Adult Center for Transition, which works closely with the Gloucester County Office of Disability Services to facilitate linkages and referrals to agencies, organizations, and educational and training opportunities in order to assist young adults with disabilities successfully transition to adult life.  Services include assessment, assistance and referrals for post-secondary opportunities in the county, including educational and employment-related opportunities,” according to the bill’s statement.

Under the bill, the governing body of a county would establish a county-based adult center for transition to assist developmentally disabled young adult residents up to the age of 24. The county centers will, for the most part, operate independently to meet the needs of the specific county, according to the legislation.

The New Jersey Association of Counties Executive Director John Donnadio said he hopes to continue to work with Sweeney on the legislation to iron out some details.

The Arc of New Jersey also expressed written support for the legislation.

Resolution held by the committee

Sen. Joe Vitale announced that the committee would hold Senate Joint Resolution 11, which would designate June 7 as “Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia Awareness Day” every year.

  Senate Health releases housing and parenting bills