Page-8 | Full text of Gov. Christie’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Address | Economy | -- Your State. Your News.

Jul 07th
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Full text of Gov. Christie’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Address

For our seniors, I propose a similar approach. With this budget, I am proposing the creation of a Division of Aging Services. This division, to be housed in the Department of Human Services, will also be the single point of access for all of our services to seniors. It will enable us to coordinate all senior services – nursing home care, community care, pharmaceutical assistance for the aged and disabled, senior gold, utility lifeline. In one place. With a coordinated, holistic approach.

For those seniors on Medicaid, here too we are going to place the emphasis on care in the community instead of institutions. This is not only more cost-effective, it will provide more dignity and happiness to our senior citizens – who, in most cases, would, of course, prefer to live in their own homes and in their own communities.

For our treasured veterans, we need to continue to develop innovative ways to serve the neediest of these citizens in New Jersey. In this budget, one innovation has led to an opportunity for our veterans.

Our successful veterans haven program provides a great place for homeless veterans. After being evaluated at a VA hospital, veterans can join a long-term program focused on social and vocational rehabilitation. The program works.

The startup funding I propose will be used to launch a new effort to use the former Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital to give access to veterans in the northern part of the state to this highly effective program. Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital will now be the location for Veterans Haven North.

For all New Jersey families with health care needs, the budget provides significant support for hospitals in New Jersey – a total of $986 million. We must recognize that our hospitals, like those all across America, face the challenge of providing care to both the insured and the un-insured.

One final initiative I would like to call to your attention: in my State of the State, I proposed to you that, for drug offenders who have not committed a violent crime, we require of them mandatory treatment instead of mandatory prison.

I was clear that under this Administration “no life is disposable.” Next week, keeping with that promise, I will announce the specifics of my drug treatment program for non-violent offenders.

To underscore my commitment to this cause, I have included an additional $2.5 million in this budget to establish a mandatory drug court for nonviolent offenders in all 21 New Jersey counties. This will begin to give us the resources to place these individuals in treatment through the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services – to make this program a reality. It is the first step toward reclaiming these lives and treating drug addiction for what it really is – a disease that can be conquered, but only with effective treatment.

Let me make one last note. All of the reorganizations I have discussed. All of the enhanced programs for our most vulnerable, all of that will be accomplished in an executive branch budget that increases only 1.7% over last year. We are making government smarter and more efficient for our people while at the same time not raising their taxes to pay for it.


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