Regulatory Updates

DDD Update: Contribution to Care and Maintenance Requirements Regulatory Proposal with Amendments

Please see the Proposed Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C 10:46D, Contribution to Care and Maintenance Requirements, as published in the New Jersey Register on November 6, 2023. The sixty-day formal comment period ends January 5, 2024.

Written comments may be submitted electronically to: DDD-CO.LAPO@dhs.nj.gov or by regular mail or facsimile to:

Carol Jones

Administrative Practice Officer

Division of Developmental Disabilities

PO Box 726

Trenton, NJ 08625-0726

Fax: (609) 341-2451

The Proposed Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C 10:46D, Contribution to Care and Maintenance Requirements is available here:

The Department of Human Services Proposed Rules & Amendments page is available here:

Division of Developmental Disabilities

Legal & Administrative Practice Office

Congressional Subcommittee Scrutinizes DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule

On Wednesday, November 29 the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA), conducted “Bad for Business: DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule,” a hearing to investigate the potential implications of the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule and its perceived impact on American businesses, workers, and the economy.

NJACP submitted comments on the proposed overtime rule and encouraged members to do so as well. The national effort to ensure the rule is not an unfunded mandate is led by ANCOR, which will likely have additional insight on the hearing, which we will provide to members when available.

Witnesses both supportive and opposed to the rule testified. For those in opposition, some of the major concerns included the salary threshold is ramping up too fast when historically the rate if change has been 2.6%-5.7% and this change represents an increase of 11.5%. Not only will the business suffer, but employees not impacted may not receive raises or business may need to reduce positions available to pay for the increase for other employees. Further the threshold would include salaries for positions that would never pass the duties test. One of the most emphasized points was that Congress should be making this determination and it exceeds the scope of authority for the DOL to unilaterally make such a large increase as well as an insufficient comment period.

Witnesses supporting the proposal stated that it is necessary because increases have historically failed to keep up with inflation. Adjusted for inflation, the current threshold should be at least $68K. Supporters said if not approved, unscrupulous employers would continue to take employees time without compensation and that the threshold is affordable as it is based on the lowest average wage threshold in the country, which is in the southern region. The erosion of pay hurts employees and employers as well with overworked and undercompensated employees.

The members of the committee also appeared to disagree on the interpretation of what constitutes protecting workers because the subcommittee hearing the testimony is deemed the Workforce Protection subcommittee. The Democrats on the committee viewed the mandate to protect vulnerable workers from business seeking to increase profits and reduce costs at the expense of the workforce. Chairperson Kiley appeared to view the mandate as ensuring businesses are free to support the workforce as much as possible without major restrictions.

IDD services and supports were not discussed specifically, however, in closing statements, the Chairperson did reference concerns about the impact on non-profits and their ability to operate and serve the most vulnerable. NJACP will update members with additional information as it is available.

Click here to view the hearing.

Medicaid Providers Need a More Sensible Approach to Labor’s Overtime Proposal

Below is an article from The Hill authored by ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill:

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed increasing by as much as 70 percent the salary threshold that determines which workers are eligible for overtime pay. The intent of this proposal is laudable, and a regulation that disability service providers would love to fully support. But the magnitude of this increase, without a federal directive to states to increase funding to providers, greatly threatens the already fragile network of community services on which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) rely. Click here to view the article.

NJ Human Services & The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities Launch ‘Jobs That Care New Jersey’ to Highlight Direct Care Job Opportunities

New Site Lists Jobs for Direct Support Professionals & Certified Home Health Aides

From NJ Human Services Press Release (Press Release-Spanish):

New Jersey Human Services and The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities today announced the launch of the Jobs that Care New Jersey website highlighting the availability of jobs providing direct supports for individuals with disabilities and older adults.

People can search the new site to find jobs as:

· Direct support professionals who support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in home and community life while promoting well-being; and

· Certified home health aides who assist adults ages 60 and older, and children and adults with disabilities or chronic medical conditions, to live in their homes by supporting daily activities.

As the website evolves, additional jobs in the direct support and service workforce will be added. Human Services has also awarded funding to an advertising firm to design a promotional campaign in the coming months to highlight the website and recruit direct care workers to the home and community-based care field.

“Bolstering our caregiving workforce has long been one of my top priorities, and while we have invested in these critical jobs through wage increases and supports, we’ve now made it easier to connect jobseekers to these essential job opportunities,” Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a rewarding career in the care economy to please visit this new site to learn more and find jobs in your area. This work makes a real and meaningful difference in people’s lives. Please take a look and learn more about these jobs that care.”

“It is the relationship between direct support professionals and people with disabilities that makes a crucial difference for the well-being and thriving of the person using services, and the satisfaction direct support professionals gain from making a difference in someone’s life,” Boggs Center Executive Director Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, said.

“These are essential jobs to support individuals with disabilities and older adults to live healthy and engaging lives in communities across our state,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services Kaylee McGuire said. “Whether it’s helping with personal needs, health and home care or community activities, workers in these careers truly matter. They support our friends, our family, our neighbors. They change lives.”

The website includes explanations about direct support professionals and certified home health aides, including videos of actual direct support professionals and the individuals they support. It also includes links to job listings, and information for employers.

“Direct support professionals and certified home health aides have fulfilling jobs that enhance the lives of others,” said Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried. “These jobs are vital and anyone interested should visit this new site.”

“This workforce is critical to the lives of so many individuals,” Division of Aging Services Assistant Commissioner Louise Rush said. “The demand for these jobs is growing fast and will continue to increase in years to come, so please don’t hesitate to visit the site to learn more.”

“The direct support workforce plays a critical role in assisting people with disabilities to live healthy, active, and valued lives in our communities,” Boggs Center Associate Director Colleen McLaughlin. “The Boggs Center is grateful to the Department’s commitment to the recruitment, retention, and recognition of this essential workforce. We are excited to have partnered on this important initiative, and we look forward to job-seekers using the website to learn about and find career opportunities in the field.”

Human Services worked with The Boggs Center in developing the website, with financial support from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Boggs Center is New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities and part of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The Jobs That Care New Jersey website is supported in part by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award to the New Jersey Department of Human Services totaling $5 million. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CMS/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Housing Advocates: New Jersey Must Move Forward to Address Housing Affordability — Going Back to COAH Is Not the Answer

Why it Matters: Proposals to interrupt the years of progress made under a transition of the COAH process to the courts is concerning, as after decades of little affordable housing construction, the court process resulted in a significant construction of affordable housing units. NJACP will be reaching out to the coalition and discussing the topic with the Legislative and Policy committee. NJACP applauds partner SHA NJ for signing onto the effort.

TRENTON – Today, more than 60 civil rights leaders and housing advocates sent a letter to Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, calling for their commitment to uphold the principles and spirit of the Mount Laurel Doctrine and to not return to the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) or a similar agency-based system of enforcement for affordable housing obligations.

New Jersey’s landmark Mount Laurel Doctrine requires all towns to create their fair share of affordable housing. Thanks to current enforcement of the Doctrine by the New Jersey judiciary, the state is developing more affordable housing than ever before. Since 2015, when the New Jersey Supreme Court put an end to COAH’s decades of dysfunction, New Jersey’s annual affordable housing production has nearly doubled — providing safe and healthy housing to more than 50,000 people over the last eight years.

“Recent calls to return to COAH or a similar system of endless state agency review of affordable housing plans from local elected officials and some state legislators are nothing more than veiled attempts to maintain segregation throughout New Jersey,” said Adam Gordon, Executive Director at Fair Share Housing Center. “We already know that COAH did not work to build affordable housing. Those advocating for a return to that system are focused on keeping low-income families and people of color out of their towns — not on addressing the housing affordability crisis facing the majority of New Jerseyans.”

“We are just beginning to chip away at the tremendous shortage of available and affordable homes in our state,” said Staci Berger, President and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ. “The system in place now is allowing more families than ever before to access healthy, affordable homes. We cannot afford to hinder that progress by going back to a process that enables recalcitrant towns to shut people out. We cannot press pause when people are unable to afford to live in our state. We can only HouseNJ by continuing to move forward in a way that creates greater opportunities for all residents to be able to afford to call NJ home.”

“Supportive Housing Association supports a thoughtful examination of any changes to the current and successful framework that has led to much needed increases in the building of affordable housing,” said Diane Riley, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Association of NJ. “However New Jersey cannot afford a move back to an unsuccessful framework and more delays. We can examine and improve but continue to build.”

Read the sign-on letter to Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin. View entire article here.

US Supreme Court Declines to Hear NJ COVID 19 Vaccine Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined without comment to hear an appeal of a 2022 case brought by four Hunterdon Medical Center nurses who challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare professionals.

In an orders list, the nation’s highest court declined to grant certiorari in the case of Katie Sczesny, et al. v. Murphy, Gov. of New Jersey, et al. By refusing to hear oral arguments in the case, the Supreme Court is allowing a lower court decision that upheld the mandate in place at the time to stand.

The nurses – Katie Sczesny, Jamie Rumfield, Debra Hagen, and Mariette Vitti – had challenged the constitutionality of a series of executive orders issued by Gov. Phil Murphy in January, March and April of 2022. These orders collectively required workers in healthcare and congregate living settings to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and their first booster shot to protect patients’ health.

The nurses had sought an injunction that would have prevented their employer, Hunterdon County Medical Center, which was not a party to the lawsuit, from enforcing its vaccine booster policy per Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders.

U.S. District Court Judge Georgette Castner denied the preliminary injunction request on June 7, 2022, saying the plaintiffs had “failed to demonstrate likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable injury…” The judge said the state had a rational interest in protecting the health and safety of vulnerable patients and maintaining a safe environment for workers and the operation of healthcare services.

The plaintiffs later appealed the federal judge’s decision to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the lawsuit moot because by that time the governor’s vaccine mandate had been rescinded due to the waning of the pandemic and COVID-19 transmission rates. (NJBIA)