SENATE, No. 3362

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 3, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL L. TESTA, JR.

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes Domestic Violence Shelter Pet Grant Program to provide funds to house pets in shelters with their owners.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning domestic violence shelters, supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, and making an appropriation.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     “Commissioner” means Commissioner of Human Services.

     “Department” means Department of Human Services.

     “Domestic violence” shall have the same meaning as defined in section 3 of .P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).

     “Domestic violence shelter” means any shelter approved for a purchase of service contract and certified pursuant to standards and procedures established by regulation of the Department of Human Services pursuant to P.L.1979, c.337 (C.30:14-1 et seq.), that confidentially provides food, shelter, safe refuge, medical care, legal assistance, personal guidance, and other services to not more than 15 persons who have been victims of domestic violence, including any children of such victims, who temporarily require shelter and assistance in order to protect their physical or psychological welfare.

     “Program” means the Domestic Violence Shelter Pet Grant Program, as established by section 2 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     “Pet” means any domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner thereof, that was bought, bred, raised, or otherwise acquired in accordance with local ordinances and State and federal law.

     “Victim of domestic violence” shall have the same meaning as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).

 

     2.    a.  There is established in the Department of Human Services the Domestic Violence Shelter Pet Grant Program to provide funds to domestic violence shelters to allow the pets of victims of domestic violence to reside concurrently with their owners within domestic violence shelters.  The program shall award grants to domestic violence shelters to defray the costs of purchasing food, medication, toys, cat litter, leashes, and other supplies necessary for the health and well-being of domesticated animals, as well as for needed veterinary care during the residency of a victim of domestic violence at a domestic violence shelter.

     b.    To qualify for a grant award under the program, a domestic violence shelter shall submit an application to the Commissioner of Human Services, in accordance with application procedures and requirements prescribed by the commissioner. 

     c.     When awarding grants, the commissioner shall give preference based on the number of pets housed at each qualifying domestic violence shelter.

     d.    Grants shall be awarded by the Commissioner of Human Services in amounts determined by the commissioner, not to exceed $50,000 to each qualifying shelter.

     e.     Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1968, c.410 32 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary, the commissioner may adopt, immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law and no later than the 90th day after the effective date of this act, such rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to implement the provisions of this act, which regulations shall be effective for a period not to exceed 12 months.  The regulations shall, at a minimum, set forth the requirements for application submissions, the criteria for application selections, and the eligible uses of grant funds.  The regulations shall thereafter be amended, adopted, or readopted by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

     3.    There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Human Services the sum of $1,000,000 to effectuate the purposes of section 2 of P.L.       , c.        (C.            ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the Domestic Violence Shelter Pet Grant Program to provide funds to house pets in domestic violence shelters with their owners.

     Specifically, the bill establishes the program in the Department of Human Services to provide funds to domestic violence shelters to allow the pets of victims of domestic violence to reside concurrently with their owners within domestic violence shelters.

     Grants are to be awarded to domestic violence shelters to defray the costs of purchasing food, medication, toys, cat litter, leashes, and other supplies necessary for the health and well-being of domesticated animals, as well as for needed veterinary care during the residency of a victim of domestic violence at a domestic violence shelter.

     To qualify for a grant award under the program, a domestic violence shelter is required to submit an application to the Commissioner of Human Services (commissioner), in accordance with application procedures and requirements prescribed by the commissioner  When awarding grants, preference is to be given based on the number of pets housed at a shelter.  Grants shall be awarded by the Commissioner in amounts determined by the commissioner, not to exceed $50,000 to each qualifying shelter.

     Pursuant to this bill, the sum of $1,000,000 is allocated from the General Fund.