The fiscal year 2012 Budget goes further to move the Charity Care, Hospital Relief, and Graduate Medical Education funding formulas closer to an objective, utilization-based standard. These new formulas will improve predictability of annual State funding for hospitals and increase efficiency by streamlining administrative procedures for hospitals.
After several years of cuts in operating support for colleges and universities, Governor Christie’s Budget will maintain support without any further reductions. At the same time, the Budget increases support for student aid programs by $20 million. Community colleges will also receive authorization to issue an additional $59 million of capital improvement bonds for which the State will pay debt service.
Community placements have been shown to help the developmentally disabled lead happier and more fulfilling lives. The Governor plans to spend $20.4 million for new community placements and services in the Division of Developmental Disabilities. As a result, $12.6 million will be spent to move 113 clients from the seven state institutions into community residential placements and day programs. As part of that shift, another $7.8 million will be provided to fund day programs, help clients who turn age 21 make the transition from school programs to state programs, provide emergency services, and help 130 clients get off the waiting list for beneficial services. In addition to funding for these new fiscal year 2012 placements, $1.7 million is provided to annualize costs for similar placements and services started in fiscal year 2011.
In order to keep 4,300 low- income citizens in their homes and apartments, the Governor’s Budget will utilize $9 million from the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, as well as $23.5 million in New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund balances originally set aside as project-based assistance for developers who build low-income rental units.
In its landmark 1999 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the mentally disabled should be housed “in the most (community) integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” In keeping with the intent of that decision, the Governor’s Budget provides $5 million to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to expand the number of patients in residential and community settings. The money will be used to develop 95 new community residential settings and associated support service for people now housed at 5 State mental health hospitals, and to create another 50 residential settings for individuals who now live at home or with family. The Division will also enhance early intervention initiatives that are geared to preventing the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals in either State or county psychiatric hospitals. These investments will also allow the Division to meet its requirements under a settlement
agreement it reached related to the
ruling and facilitate the closure of a State mental health
hospital by the end of fiscal year 2012. An additional $5 million is provided to annualize the costs of similar services started in fiscal year 2011.
Increased operating support for NJ Transit will avoid the need for a fare increase and preserve the agency’s ability to expand bus service to select growth markets.
The Governor’s Budget includes a State Police recruit training class for the first time in two years. The class, which is projected to graduate 100 new State