Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini said she is pleased that Governor Christie’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal includes increased funding for those with mental illness and those who are developmentally disabled.
The governor’s budget will add nearly $25 million for community placements for adults with developmental disabilities which will allow 130 people to move off the Community Services Waiting List.
“Providing increased funding to help those who deal with mental and physical disabilities or addictions shouldn’t be overlooked in the fiscally responsible plan introduced by the governor,” said Angelini. “Meeting our pension obligations and increasing educational aid are certainly important, and so is the responsibility to help those who are most vulnerable. We are not only increasing funding for critical programs, but the structural realignment of government agencies will provide greater efficiencies.”
Angelini, who is a member of both the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and Assembly Human Services Committee, pointed out that the increased funding and the reorganization of government departments that will centralize services demonstrates the governor’s commitment to allocate resources wisely and challenge the status quo.
Christie’s new budget proposal creates the Division of Child Integrated System of Care Services and the Division of Aging Services that will specifically handle the needs of people who must deal with several government agencies in order to obtain benefits and services.
“As New Jersey’s chief executive officer, Governor Christie knows that managing government involves more than spending tax dollars,” commented Angelini. “The governor deserves credit for examining how services are delivered and how effective they are in meeting their responsibilities. The creation of these departments will improve operating efficiencies and also reduce the frustration people sometimes experience as they steer their way through multiple agencies.”
The Division of Aging will function within the Department of Human Services and administer community-based services and programs for senior citizens such as the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program (PAAD), Senior Gold and the Lifeline Utility Assistance Program.
The Division of Child Integrated System of Care Services will operate within the Department of Children and Families and serve the needs of families with children with developmental disabilitiesmodule art panels.