New Jersey continues to struggle to meet the growing need for community services and supports for citizens living with developmental disabilities. Over 8,000 people have been on a Community Services Waiting List that continues to grow, along with over 2,400 people who have been waiting for years to leave institutions. Bill A-3625, sponsored by Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, changes the way in which the Department of Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Human Services will use resources to provide services, by reducing reliance on developmental centers in addition to strengthening and expanding community based service and support. The unmet needs of thousands can be better met with a community system that can serve twice as many people for the same dollar as costly, outdated institutions. By reducing reliance on developmental centers, New Jersey would be part of an overwhelming nation trend. Consider that across the nation 140 institutions have closed, 10 states currently operate no large public institutions and most other states have taken steps to reduce their reliance on institutional care. New Jersey can follow the examples set by other states so that those living with developmental disabilities can choose to lead dignified, active engaged lives. Stop the unbalanced and disproportionate funding of institutional care and don’t let institutionalization be the only choice for those living with developmental disabilities in New Jersey. This petition allows you to show your support to New Jersey's legislators by urging them to support A3625 immediately.
EDIT: Please make sure that if you are filling this out you put in a New Jersey zip code. Legislators in other states cannot help pass this bill and will only be confused by the message. If you are unsure of your appropriate zip code, a list is provided by the NJ State government at: http://www.nj.gov/infobank/njzips.htm