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  • NJ A2503
  • Provides protections for individuals with developmental disabilities; upgrades crimes committed against such individuals; and improves tranparency and accountability in investigations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of such individuals; designated as "Stephen Komninos' Law."*
Introduced
(2/4/2016)
In Committee
(6/1/2017)
Crossed Over
(7/31/2017)
Passed
(10/5/2017)
Signed
(10/6/2017)
Dead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, which is designated as "Stephen Komninos' Law," improves protections for individuals with developmental disabilities and provides for increased transparency of investigations conducted in connection with an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill requires the Commissioner of Human Services, or the commissioner's designee, to designate employees of the Department of Human Services (DHS), who are not employees of a State developmental center but may be case managers employed by DHS, or an agency under contract with DHS, to conduct at least three unannounced site visits annually to randomly check whether the individuals with developmental disabilities who are receiving services from a program, facility, or living arrangement licensed or funded by the department, other than a community care residence which is subject to visits pursuant to section 7 of P.L.2012, c.69 (C.30:6D-5.13), are at risk of, or are being subjected to, abuse, neglect, or exploitation by a caregiver, and report the same pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2010, c.5 (C.30:6D-75), which is the law that established the Central Registry of Offenders Against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (Central Registry). The Central Registry is designed to prevent caregivers who become offenders against individuals with developmental disabilities from working with these individuals. The Commissioner of Human Services, or the commissioner's designee, is also required to designate staff to notify the guardian or authorized family member of an individual with a developmental disability receiving services from a program, facility, community care residence, or living arrangement licensed or funded by the department of any physical injury to the individual with a developmental disability, as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the occurrence of the injury. Additionally, a provider or licensee, as applicable, is to notify the guardian or authorized family member of an individual with a developmental disability receiving services as soon as possible, but not more than two hours after the occurrence of the injury, unless there is an extraordinary circumstance which prevents such notification in which case the provider or licensee is required to notify the guardian or authorized family member as soon as possible, but not more than eight hours after the occurrence of the injury. These notifications are to be in person, or by telephone, and other electronic means are to be used to follow up the telephoned notification. Further, within 48 hours of receipt of a report of an incident involving physical injury, or abuse or neglect in a program, facility, community care residence, or living arrangement licensed or funded by DHS for an individual with a developmental disability, the Commissioner of Human Services is required to send an employee, who is not an employee of a State developmental center but may be a case manager employed by DHS or an agency under contract with DHS, to the location to verify the level of severity. The bill also amends the Central Registry law to: 1) authorize a guardian to request appropriate assistance from local and State law enforcement officials; 2) provide an opportunity for a guardian or authorized family member to submit information to facilitate an investigation, be informed of its progress, and represent an individual; 3) permit a guardian, upon request, to attend or observe the investigation unless attendance or observation would impede the investigation; and 4) add a requirement for the guardian or authorized family to be notified of an offending caregiver's inclusion on the Central Registry and of action taken by DHS to remediate a condition. The bill further amends the law to change from a disorderly persons offense (punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both) to a fourth degree crime (punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both) the failure of a case manager or supervisor to report an incident, and makes it a third degree crime (punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both) rather than a fourth degree crime if the unreported incident results in death. Lastly, there are amendments to the confidentiality provisions of the Central Registry law, section 6 of P.L.2010, c.5 (C.30:6D-78), to make it consistent with the provisions in the bill which permit attendance or observation of an investigation. The bill is designated "Stephen Komninos' Law" to honor the memory of Stephen, an individual with developmental disabilities who tragically died at the age of 22. Stephen was a non-verbal young man who was very sociable and suffered through many substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect. The bill is intended to encourage caregivers, supervisors, and managers of facilities, as well as the appropriate funding, licensing, regulatory, and law enforcement agencies to protect individuals with developmental disabilities, by providing for more transparency in incident reporting and investigations, the reporting of incidents in a more timely manner, and an environment that does not tolerate abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals with developmental disabilities.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, 2nd Reading in the Senate, Bills and Joint Resolutions Signed by the Governor, Budget and Appropriations, Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens, Human Services, Passed Assembly, Passed both Houses, Passed Senate
Approved P.L.2017, c.238.  (on 10/6/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
10/6/2017 A Approved P.L.2017, c.238.
10/5/2017 A Passed Senate (Passed Both Houses) (33-0)
10/5/2017 A Received in the Senate, 2nd Reading - Concur. w/Gov's Recom.
7/31/2017 S Passed by the Assembly (68-0-0)
7/31/2017 S 2nd Reading in the Assembly on Concur. w/Gov.'s Recommend.
7/31/2017 S First Reading/Governor Recommendations Only
7/31/2017 S Conditional Veto, Received in the Assembly
6/22/2017 A Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (74-0-0)
6/22/2017 A Received in the Assembly, 2nd Reading on Concurrence
6/19/2017 S Passed by the Senate (39-0)
6/19/2017 S Substituted for S516 (1R)
6/1/2017 S Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
6/1/2017 Senate Budget and Appropriations Hearing (19:00 6/1/2017 *Revised 5/31/17 - S-2180 and S-2793 have been added. S-2490 (1R)
6/1/2017 Senate Budget and Appropriations Hearing (19:00 6/1/2017 A-320 (1R), A-1690 (ACS) and A-4587 (2R) are all pending referra)
5/15/2017 S Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
5/15/2017 S Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading (without recommendation)
5/15/2017 Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Hearing (19:00 5/15/2017 S-3142 Codey/Vitale (pend intro & ref) Requires Commissioner of )
1/9/2017 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
12/19/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (76-0-0)
10/27/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
10/27/2016 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (13:00 10/27/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
9/19/2016 A Reported as an Assembly Committee Substitute and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
9/19/2016 Assembly Human Services Hearing (13:00 9/19/2016 Committee Room 16, 4th Floor)
2/4/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 10/5/2017 Senate Floor: Concur Governor Recommendations 31 0 8
Detail 7/31/2017 Assembly Floor: Concur Governor Recommendations 68 0 11
Detail 6/22/2017 Assembly Floor: Concur in Senate Amendments 74 0 6
Detail 6/19/2017 Senate Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 39 0 1
Detail 6/19/2017 Senate Floor: Substitute For S516 (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 6/1/2017 Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 13 0 0
Detail 5/15/2017 Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee: Reported with Amendments 8 0 1
Detail 12/19/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 76 0 4
Detail 10/27/2016 Assembly Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 11 0 0
Detail 9/19/2016 Assembly Human Services Committee: Reported with Substitution 6 0 0