New Jersey Revised Statutes § 30:1-12 - Findings; General Policy; Commissioner's Power.

30:1-12 Findings; general policy; commissioner's power.

30:1-12. a. The Legislature finds that the Commissioner of Human Services is obligated by State and federal law to assure that programs that serve eligible, low-income, handicapped, elderly, abused, and disabled persons are provided in an accessible, efficient, cost-effective and high quality manner. In order to meet these ends, the commissioner must have sufficient authority to require institutions and agencies that are under his direct or indirect supervision to meet State and federal mandates. This authority is especially necessary given the manner in which certain services are provided by county or local agencies, but are funded in whole or part by the State. The Legislature finds that the commissioner must have the authority to establish rules, regulations and directives, including incentives and sanctions, to assure that these institutions and agencies are providing services in a manner consistent with these mandates.

b.The commissioner shall have power to determine all matters relating to the unified and continuous development of the institutions and noninstitutional agencies within his jurisdiction. He shall determine all matters of policy and shall have power to regulate the administration of the institutions or noninstitutional agencies within his jurisdiction, correct and adjust the same so that each shall function as an integral part of a general system. The rules, regulations, orders and directions issued by the commissioner pursuant thereto, for this purpose shall be accepted and enforced by the executive having charge of any institution or group of institutions or noninstitutional agencies or any phase of the work within the jurisdiction of the department.

In order to implement the public policy of this State concerning the provision of charitable, hospital, relief and training institutions established for diagnosis, care, treatment, training, rehabilitation and welfare of persons in need thereof, for research and for training of personnel, and in order that the personnel, buildings, land, and other facilities provided be most effectively used to these ends and to advance the public interest, the commissioner is hereby empowered to classify and designate from time to time the specific functions to be performed at and by any of the aforesaid institutions under his jurisdiction and to designate, by general classification of disease or disability, age or sex, the classes of persons who may be admitted to, or served by, these institutions or agencies.

In addition to and in conjunction with its general facilities and services for persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or tuberculosis, the department may at its discretion establish and maintain specialized facilities and services for the residential care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons who are suffering from chronic mental or neurological disorders, including, but not limited to alcoholism, drug addiction, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

The commissioner shall have the power to regulate the administration of agencies under his supervision including, but not limited to, municipal and county agencies that administer public assistance. The commissioner may issue rules, regulations, orders and directions to assure that programs administered by the agencies are financially and programmatically efficient and effective, and to establish incentives and impose sanctions to assure the appropriate operation of programs and compliance with State and federal laws and regulations.

In addition, the commissioner shall have the authority to:

(1)review and approve county and municipal budgets for public assistance; and

(2)take appropriate interim action, including withholding State and federal administrative funds, or take over and operate county or municipal public assistance operations in situations in which the commissioner determines that the public assistance agency is failing to substantially follow federal or State law, thereby placing clients, who are dependent on public assistance benefits to survive in a humane and healthy manner, at serious risk. In this situation, the commissioner shall have the authority to bill the county for the cost of such operations and for necessary changes to assure that services are provided to accomplish federal and State mandates in an effective and efficient manner.

No rule, regulation, order or direction shall abridge the authority of a county or municipality to establish wages and terms and conditions of employment for its employees through collective negotiation with an authorized employee organization pursuant to P.L.1984, c.14 (C.44:7-6.1 et seq.).

The commissioner shall have the power to promulgate regulations to assure that services in State and county psychiatric facilities are provided in an efficient and accessible manner and are of the highest quality. Regulations shall include, but shall not be limited to, the transfer of patients between facilities; the maintenance of quality in order to obtain certification by the United States Department of Health and Human Services; the review of the facility's budget; and the establishment of sanctions to assure the appropriate operation of facilities in compliance with State and federal laws and regulations.

The commissioner shall have the power to promulgate regulations to assure that county adjusters effectively and efficiently conduct investigations, notify legally responsible persons of amounts to be assessed against them, petition the courts, represent patients in psychiatric facilities, and as necessary reopen the question of payment for maintenance of persons residing in psychiatric facilities. Regulations may include minimum standards for determining payment of care by legally responsible persons; a uniform reporting system of findings, conclusions and recommendations; and the establishment of sanctions to assure compliance with State laws and regulations.

c.The commissioner shall have the power to conduct an investigation into the financial ability to pay, directly or indirectly, of any person receiving services from the department, or his chargeable relatives. This authority shall include the power to issue subpoenas to compel testimony and the production of documents. The commissioner may contract with a public or private entity to perform the functions set forth in this subsection, subject to terms and conditions required by the commissioner.

amended 1965, c.59, s.1; 1971, c.384, s.8; 1990, c.66, s.1; 1990, c.73, s.1; 1995, c.155, s.1; 1997, c.37, s.11; 2010, c.50, s.19.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016