Governor Christie’s Budget Reinforces Commitment to Protecting New Jersey’s Most Vulnerable
The Governor’s fiscal year 2013 budget represents and reinforces his commitment to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us, including seniors, women and children with developmental disabilities. Even through two years of fiscal hardship and difficulty, Governor Christie has maintained this core value shared by all New Jerseyans.
Today, New Jersey is now in a position to strengthen that commitment, fundamentally rethink how our neediest citizens’ are served, and broaden our engagement in a proactive way to reach even more New Jerseyans with the care they need.
COMMON SENSE GOVERNMENT THAT FOCUSES ON THE INDIVIDUAL
At the core of Governor Christie’s proposed reorganization is the idea of focusing services on the individual, not the department. Using this philosophy as a guiding principle, the fiscal year 2013 budget calls for centering services around families, women, children and seniors and putting them in one place.
- Rethinking How To Serve Children With Developmental Disabilities. The creation of the Division of Child Integrated System of Care Services in the DCF will finally address the holistic needs and concerns of families with children with developmental disabilities in one place. The new division will become the departmental “home” for children with multiple needs, bringing together programs now scattered throughout State government.
- Strengthening Women’s Services. The functions of the Division on Women in the Department of Community Affairs will be transferred and integrated into DCF’s Division of Family and Community Partnerships. DCF will become the primary State agency responsible for domestic violence and child abuse services.
- Forming A New Division Of Child Protection. Formally known as the Division of Youth and Family Services, the new Division of Child Protection and Permanency will focus exclusively on child protection, providing safety, permanency and well-being to New Jersey’s most vulnerable children and families.
- Providing Care For Adolescent Treatment Services. The current children’s system of care will be broadened to also provide an integrated approach to services for adolescents with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring disorders.
- Providing A Single Point Of Entry For Senior Long-Term Care Services. Governor Christie is providing a new vision for providing integrated senior care with the creation of the Division of Aging Services. As part of the Department of Human Services, the Division will be better able to link supports and services by providing a single point of access and assuming responsibility for all senior programs currently housed in the Department of Health.
- Sharpening The Focus On Health. To ensure dollars are going where they are needed, the fiscal year 2013 budget proposes directing all hospital funding programs through the Department of Health. A single Department of Health administered funding system will ensure the State’s budget supports hospitals most in need.
PROVIDING THE NECESSARY RESOURCES FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE
Dedicating Resources For Individuals With Mental Illness. The closure of Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital on June 30, 2012 will mark a new day in delivering services for those with mental illness that focuses on providing community-based care and housing.
- Governor Christie’s fiscal year 2013 budget reinvests savings from the closure, providing an additional $5.6 million to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
- The budget also provides $5 million in new funding for the Department of Human Services to fund 245 new community placements for persons diagnosed with mental illness.
Expanding Successful Services For Veterans Who Are Homeless Or Need Mental Health Services. The Christie Administration is expanding the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs successful Veterans Haven program. After being medically evaluated at a VA Medical Center, eligible veterans participate in a long-term program focusing on psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation.
- DMAVA’s and Human Services’ fiscal year 2013 budgets include a total of $2.3 million in startup funds for transition services.
Increasing Funding For Placement Services For Individuals With Developmental Disabilities. Governor Christie’s fiscal year 2013 budget provides $24.7 million of new funding to develop additional community placements and services, allowing for 130 people to move off of the Community Services Waiting List, and for individuals and families to receive necessary residential and day services.
- An additional $4.6 million is provided to pay for placements that occurred during fiscal year 2012.
- A total of $9.7 million will support the Department of Human Services’ Olmstead initiatives and transition individuals from the seven developmental centers into the community.
Funding Early Childhood Intervention. The Christie Administration will continue to provide support to families with children with developmental delays and disabilities from birth to age three. The Early Intervention Program services include developmental intervention, speech, physical and occupational therapy and other services necessary to achieve their full potential.
- $88.4 Million Is Budgeted In Fiscal Year 2013 For The Early Intervention Program.
Funding New Jersey’s Hospitals. Providing the necessary resources to keep safety net hospitals operating, while recognizing that all hospitals provide care to the uninsured and underinsured, remains the principle behind hospital funding in fiscal year 2013.
- Hospital funding will be maintained at the enhanced fiscal year 2012 level. A total of $956 million has been provided in the FY 2013 budget for hospital funding through Charity Care, Graduate Medical Education support and Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund.
- In addition $30 million will be made available through Hospital Stabilization Aid.
Protecting Funding For Wynona’s House. Using $537,000 in federal funds, Governor Christie was able to support Wynona’s House in fiscal year 2012. With these funds unavailable in fiscal year 2013, Wynona’s House will receive a matching amount of State funds.
Providing Property Tax Relief For New Jersey Seniors. The fiscal year 2013 budget maintains funding for critical tax relief programs for seniors through the Homestead Benefit Program, the Senior and Disabled Citizens’ Property Tax Freeze and the Senior and Disabled Citizens’ Property Tax Deductions.
- Senior and Disabled Citizens’ Property Tax Freeze funded at $213.5 million.
- Benefits 203,100 senior and disabled citizens.
- Homestead Benefit Program funded at $398.5 million.
- Benefits 475,400 seniors or disabled citizens and 347,300 non-seniors.
- Senior and Disabled Citizens’ Property Tax Deductions funded at $16 million.
- Benefits 62,700 senior and disabled citizens.
Increasing Funding For 24-Hour Mobile Response. Mobile Response and Stabilization Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help children and youth who are experiencing emotional or behavioral crises. The services are designed to defuse an immediate crisis, keep children and their families safe, and maintain the children in their own homes or current living situation (such as a foster home, treatment home or group home) in the community.
- The Christie Administration is increasing funding by $6.6 million over fiscal year 2012 to a total of $18 million.
Funding Family Support Services. Family Support Services are family-run, county-based organizations that provide direct family-to-family peer support, education, advocacy and other services to family members of children with emotional and behavioral problems.
- Funding in fiscal year 2013 is increased to $14.9 million.