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Position Papers

CCSNJ Support of S-3455

Workforce

TO: Members of the New Jersey Senate

FROM: Hilary Chebra, Manager, Government Affairs CCSNJ

RE: Support of S-3455 (Madden/Bucco/Sweeney)

DATE: December 2, 2021

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) would like to voice our support for S- 3455 (Madden/Bucco/Sweeney), which revises eligibility requirements for the NJ Workability Program and Personal Assistance Services Program. A diverse workforce is critical to New Jersey and must include IDD individuals. This legislation will assist in removing barriers to employment and provide career advancement opportunities for these individuals in ways not seen before at a state level.

The CCSNJ appreciated the opportunity to discuss private sector employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities on February 16, 2021, along with several of our colleagues in the New Jersey business community and Senate President Steve Sweeney. The end result of that meeting made clear what was already well-known - a diverse workforce is critical for New Jersey and must include considerations for IDD individuals.

In addition to revising the eligibility requirements for both the NJ Workability Program and the Personal Assistance Services Program, this bill eliminates the program's existing income eligibility limit of 250 percent of the federal poverty level and explicitly provides that a qualified applicant is not to be subject to any eligibility requirements regarding the earned or unearned income of the applicant or the applicant's spouse. It also permits an eligible applicant for the program to remain eligible for Medicaid for up to one year if, through no fault of the applicant, a job loss occurs.

The CCSNJ heard feedback from employers and employees who are concerned joining the workforce would cause ineligibility for Medicaid. Concern over losing these vital benefits deter many from considering entering the workforce. The CCSNJ commends the sponsors of this legislation, which will help to ensure access to vital support services for working residents with disabilities.

For these reasons, the CCSNJ respectfully urges you to support S-3455 (Madden/Bucco/Sweeney).

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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