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Greenwald Applauds Children’s Health Measure

Praises Obama Measure to Expand Health Insurance for New Jersey Kids

(VOORHEES)— Assembly State Budget Committee Chairman and longtime children’s health advocate Louis Greenwald (D-Camden) today praised President Obama for signing into law a bill that will expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Known in New Jersey as NJ FamilyCare, the expansion will include up to an additional 100,000 uninsured New Jersey children through an increased federal funding guarantee.

“Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and not having health insurance can prove devastating to them and their families. I congratulate President Obama for his leadership on this critical issue,” said Greenwald. “As a parent of young children who are fortunate enough to have health insurance, I believe this is long overdue.”

The New Jersey Department of Human Services estimates 130,000 low-income children and 119,00 low-income adults are currently covered by NJ FamilyCare. With a deepening recession and increasing unemployment, that number is likely to grow.

“This measure is a huge step in the right direction,” said Greenwald, “In this economy, NJ FamilyCare will have additional funding to be the safety net for families struggling to afford health care.”

Call Renewed for Legalized Sports Betting in NJ

Bergen Record
January 28, 2009
By John Brennan

Two South Jersey assemblymen, noting today that Las Vegas casinos may take on $100 million or more in bets on Sunday’s Super Bowl, renewed their call to legalize betting on professional sports in Atlantic City.

Assemblymen Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, and Nelson Albano, D-Cumberland, hope their bill, which passed the Assembly last year, also will pass in the state Senate. The bill calls for a referendum in November that would ask New Jersey voters whether they approve sports betting — excluding college sports.

New Jersey is one of 46 states banned from allowing such betting under a 1992 federal law. Only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana are exempt from that law.

Delaware officials last month floated a plan to allow “parlay bets” at its casinos, meaning a bettor would have to choose two or more games to bet. The more games selected, the longer the odds and the bigger the potential payout. Sports betting in Delaware could cut into already faltering Atlantic City casino revenues.

Greenwald said the state’s struggling economy makes sports betting more attractive.

“We have to look at things that we didn’t have the courage to try before,” Greenwald said. “And the concerns that people had in the 1970s about organized crime getting involved in the casinos hardly exist anymore.”

More Group Homes Make Moral, Economic Sense

January 26, 2009

Financially, it's a no-brainer. But this isn't only an economic issue, it's a moral issue, too.

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald has introduced a bold bill to close five of the state's seven developmental centers and disperse most of the 2,861 residents into the community, to group homes or independent living with support services.
To sell the idea, many proponents have focused on the money it will save at a time when New Jersey desperately craves creative financial solutions.

Everyone agrees on the numbers: Housing in a developmental center costs roughly $223,000 annually -- or $641 per day -- per resident, while community living runs approximately $300 daily.

But opponents, like state Sen. Jeff Van Drew and the unions representing the approximately 2,500 workers at the institutions, downplay the savings. They warn that the five-year plan is too aggressive and that the state can't afford the loss of jobs during a recession, especially by leading employers in two of Van Drew's counties. The unions, not surprisingly, are trying to protect the $48 million spent on overtime last year.

"It's not about the jobs, but, really, it is about the jobs," Van Drew says. But he's wrong. It's about quality of life.

The Disabled: Toward A Better Life

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 24, 2009

New Jersey lawmakers should move ahead with a proposal to eliminate warehouse-style institutional care for the developmentally disabled and move them to community settings.

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D., Camden) wants New Jersey to follow in the footsteps of 10 other states that have placed people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation in group homes or shared apartments rather than large, state-run facilities.

Under the proposal, introduced earlier this month, five of the seven developmental centers would be closed within five years. About 80 percent of the population, more than 2,000 people, would be relocated to community settings.

Supporters, including the group Disability Rights New Jersey, say the move is long overdue and will integrate the developmentally disabled into everyday life and give them a chance to live independently, make friends and work. In other words, a better life.

It also would save money, costing about $300 per day for community settings, compared with $614 per day in developmental centers. Overall, the developmental centers cost about $230,000 per person.

Greenwald/Fisher Bill To Educate Parents On Shaken Baby Syndrome Advances

For Release: January 19, 2009

Contact: Brian McGinnis, 856-435-1247


(TRENTON) – The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee has released legislation Assembly members Louis D. Greenwald and Douglas H. Fisher sponsored to require the state include information about Shaken Baby Syndrome to new parents.

“All new parents need to be absolutely aware of how devastating this syndrome can be,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “Learning about Shaken Baby Syndrome will hopefully prevent parents from harming their babies.”

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 1,200 to 1,400 children nationwide annually receive medical treatment for injuries attributed to being violently shaken by a caregiver.

Nearly 30 percent of those injuries prove fatal, and about 80 percent of survivors incur lifelong brain injuries that can lead to learning and physical disabilities, blindness, hearing and speech disabilities, cerebral palsy and behavior disorders.

The legislation (A-725) would require the state to include information on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the resource guide it provides to new parents. The guide also would be published in Spanish. A health care professional would be required to review information in the guide with new parents as part of the discharge procedure.