SENATE BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

SENATE, Nos. 722 and 785

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED: †JUNE 27, 2022

 

††††† The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reports favorably Senate Bill Nos. 722 and 785 SCS, with committee amendments.

††††† As amended and reported by the committee, this committee substitute codifies and expands the Alternative Response to Reduce Instances of Violence and Escalation (ARRIVE) Together Pilot Program and appropriates $2 million.

††††† Under the amended committee substitute, the expanded program is to provide accessible crisis intervention, mental health screening, or other support to individuals experiencing mental health crisis who have contacted or are engaging with law enforcement.† The amended committee substitute requires the Attorney General, within the limits of available funding, to select for participation in the pilot program expansion two municipalities in each of the northern, central, and southern regions of the State that meet certain conditions. The selection of municipalities would not exclude participation by other counties or municipalities in the pilot program.

††††† The amended committee substitute requires the county prosecutorís office in each pilot county to designate a crisis response support coordinator who is to coordinate with the Attorney General to develop procedures consistent with the Attorney Generalís guidelines.† In addition, under the amended committee substitute, one or more mental health service providers is to be contracted to provide services as needed to the State Police or the police department or force, as appropriate, in the pilot municipality when responding to a call that involves a person who is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.† The provider is to provide services as needed for up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.†

††††† Under the amended committee substitute, the governing body of a pilot municipality or county is to provide documentation or information to the Attorney General.†

††††† The Attorney General is required to cause to be transmitted a report evaluating the implementation and operation of the pilot program expansion to the Governor and the Legislature within 90 days after the completion of the pilot program. †The report is to recommend whether the pilot program expansion should be continued, modified, or made permanent.

††††† Finally, the committee substitute appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Law and Public Safety the sum of $2 million to effectuate the committee substituteís provisions.† The Attorney General and any other department, as appropriate, may also seek assistance from the federal government, private foundations, and any other source to fund the pilot program expansion established by the committee substitute. †

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS:

The committee amended the committee substitute to:

††††† 1) provide that the committee substitute codifies and expands the Alternative Response to Reduce Instances of Violence and Escalation (ARRIVE) Together Pilot Program;

††††† 2) require the Attorney General to establish and govern the pilot program expansion.† As introduced, the Commissioner of Health was required to establish a program;

††††† 3) remove from the billís provisions the requirement that the program is to be three years;

††††† 4) provide that the selection of municipalities for the pilot program expansion is not to exclude participation by other counties or municipalities;

††††† 5) remove the requirement that each pilot municipality or county be reimbursed for the documented costs associated with implementing the program; and

††††† 6) extend the committee substituteís effective date from six to 10 months.†

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

††††† The Office of Legislative Services concludes the bill would result in State and local expenditure increases, and a local revenue increase, of up to $2 million to expand the Alternative Response to Reduce Instances of Violence and Escalation (ARRIVE) Together Program in municipalities as designated in the bill.† The bill appropriates $2 million to the Department of Law and Public Safety for this purpose.† The OLS notes that any potential administrative costs beyond the $2 million are indeterminate.