Advocates call for increased drug court funding

TRENTON – While there is support for the $4.5 million marked in the 2014 budget for the much-heralded drug court program, advocates from various substance abuse and addiction treatment groups told the Assembly Budget Committee today that more is needed.

But Assemblyman Chris Brown, (R-8), Medford, said it was Gov. Chris Christie who helped make the program possible after years of exploration by the state.

“We should have done it a long time ago,” he said. “And this option exists.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, (R-11), Little Silver, also said more money could always be put into programs, adding that everyone can admit the initial investment is “a good start.”

Still, others were grateful for other items included in the budget.  

Betsy Ryan of the New Jersey Hospital Association said Christie has made health care a priority, given the $675 million toward Charity Care and an additional $10 million for a graduate education fund that will help produce more physicians.

But Assemblyman Gary Schaer, (D-36), of Passaic, said more needs to be done to keep the medical students the state is subsidizing to remain in New Jersey and not move away.

 

Advocates call for increased drug court funding