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Assemblyman Greenwald comments on Governor Corzine’s plan to cut $812 million from the state budget

Assemblyman Greenwald comments on Governor Corzine’s plan to cut $812 million from the state budget

Some Reactions to Corzine’s Speech

Daily Record
January 14, 2009
Gannett Staff

Reactions to Gov. Jon S. Corzine's State of the State speech delivered Tuesday:

Assemblyman Nelson Albano, D-Cumberland: "New Jersey has already taken strong steps, including the largest spending cut in state history and measures we sponsored to ensure no debt is incurred without voter consent and implement historic new business grants and tax cuts, but this isn't enough."

Sen. Diane Allen, R-Burlington: "After three years of tax increases, toll hikes and increased state spending, Gov. Corzine continues to contend that he is capable of making the tough decisions necessary to make New Jersey more affordable for seniors and middle class families. His actions, however, simply do not match his rhetoric."

Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth: "Over the past few months, Republicans have presented a number of common-sense solutions that could quickly be enacted to prevent New Jersey's massive budget deficit from growing even further. For months, Republicans in the Legislature have offered to work with Gov. Corzine to fix our broken budget. Each and every offer made by Republicans to work with the Governor was summarily dismissed."

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, R-Union: "Gov. Corzine should have started cutting the state's budget four years ago. Corzine failed to plan for a rainy day. Now, when we're in a storm, he's trying to embrace some of the budget cuts we've been calling for and taxpayers have needed."

More Group Homes; The Right Direction

Press of Atlantic City

January 12, 2009

Editorial

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, wants to close five of the state's seven institutions for people with developmental disabilities and use the savings to vastly increase the number of group homes and other community-based housing options for the disabled.

Community-based residences are not the answer for every disabled individual. That's why Greenwald's five-year plan would leave two of the state's developmental centers open, one in the northern part of the state and one in the south.

But at least 10 other states have moved far more aggressively than New Jersey in replacing institutional care with community-based care, Greenwald says. For most of the developmentally disabled, a group home or something similar is considered more nurturing than institutionalized care.

It is also cheaper. Greenwald says housing a person in one of the seven developmental centers costs $641 a day, while community-based care costs approximately $300 a day. Furthermore, the state's developmental centers, including facilities in Vineland and Woodbine, house approximately 2,400 individuals, which represents only 8 percent of the people the state Division of Developmental Disabilities serves. However, Greenwald noted, the division spends 30 percent of its $1.4 billion budget to operate the developmental centers.

The idea of moving these people out of institutions is certainly not new. The state has moved 176 people out of institutions over the last two years.

Assemblyman Greenwald unveils a bill to improve care for New Jersey’s developmentally disabled

Assemblyman Greenwald unveils a bill to improve care for New Jersey’s developmentally disabled

A Proposal to Promote Moving Out

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 9, 2009
By Jonathan Tamari

Ever since Reggie Davis left the New Lisbon Developmental Center in Burlington County and moved to a group home in Voorhees, his personality has blossomed, according to his mother.

In the smaller, non-institutionalized setting, Davis, who was born with mental disabilities, bonds with friends, works a job, and can go get coffee nearly as often as he likes, said his mother, Pat Davis-Johnson. He even adopted a new look, a mohawk.

"He now exudes his individualism," said Davis-Johnson, of Newark, N.J. "I'm having a little trouble with his choice of hairstyle, but he's my Reggie and I love him dearly."

Citing Davis' case as an example of the benefits of community living, an influential South Jersey lawmaker introduced a plan yesterday that he said would move thousands of people with developmental disabilities out of institutions and into settings such as group homes or shared apartments that are more integrated into everyday life.

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D., Camden) said his proposal would follow the lead of 10 other states that have largely done away with institutional care for people with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and spina bifida.

His proposal calls for closing five of New Jersey's seven developmental centers and moving 80 percent of the population, more than 2,000 people, into community settings within five years.