Troopers, will begin in October of 2011 and end in March of 2012. The graduates will enable the State Police to effectively deal with its higher attrition levels.
This Governor’s Budget includes funding to increase staff in State Parks and Forest areas. An increase in Parks staff will help maintain and protect the State’s 54 Parks, Forests and Recreation Areas, which encompass in excess of 422,000 acres and are visited by more than 17 million people each year. An increase in Forestry staff will help protect life and property, as well as the state's natural resources, from wildfire.
The loss of nearly $1 billion of non-recurring federal stimulus funding that had been used to sustain the State’s Medicaid program for the past two years provides New Jersey with the opportunity to restructure how and to whom benefits are provided. The Department of Human Services will soon request from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the authority to redesign and manage its Medicaid program in a manner that creates efficiencies and a better level of care. New Jersey will request a “global waiver” that will provide greater flexibility and simplification in making changes to the Medicaid program. In addition, the Christie Administration will seek approval to create programs with wellness and prevention incentives and which give beneficiaries more direct control over their health spending. And, New Jersey will request the flexibility to implement care management and medical homes; create new clinical levels of care; and add new community based alternatives.
The Sick Leave Injury (SLI) program will terminate for most State employees on July 1, 2011. Under the program, employees are paid their same salary when out of work due to an injury as they are paid when they actually come to work. With the program’s elimination, injured employees will instead apply for Worker’s Compensation, a benefit that provides 70% of salary, but does so on a tax-free basis, minimizing the drop in income. Savings from the elimination of the SLI program are $5.8 million.
The Governor’s Budget continues a government efficiency effort to centralize the State printing operation into the Department of the Treasury. The closure and consolidation of State-run print shops is expected to save $500,000 in fiscal year 2012. The initiative has started with the Departments of Transportation and Education and will be proceeding to other agencies during fiscal year 2012.
The Christie Administration is determined to end the days of government work for government’s sake. The Administration began this winnowing process last fiscal year, commissioning a study on service delivery privatization, while also looking critically at successful projects undertaken by other states. As a result, the Administration has a responsible, sensible path forward to cut the size of government while at the same time giving the state’s taxpayers a better deal. No fewer than a half-dozen projects are already in progress, with another half-dozen ready to go.
An initiative to streamline and improve the maintenance and management of the State motor pool passenger fleet is expected to save $2 million in fiscal year 2012. Treasury will be issuing multiple Requests for Proposals to outsource motor pool functions, including ownership/replacement of all or a portion of its State vehicle fleet and related maintenance.