State Claims It’s Too Poor To Move People Out Of Institutions
New Jersey is using its money woes as reason enough not to move residents with disabilities out of institutions and into the community.
A lawyer for the state argued Wednesday that a lawsuit demanding that 1,850 residents with developmental disabilities be moved out of institutions should be dismissed because the state is broke.
The claim comes in a case brought by Disability Rights New Jersey. The advocacy group wants a U.S. District Court judge to order the state to move residents into the community in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attorneys for the state argued that moving residents would be “financially devastating” for New Jersey.
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Not so fast, said Samuel Bagenstos, an attorney from the Justice Department’s civil rights division, who testified on behalf of the advocacy group. Bagenstos countered that it’s actually $70,000 cheaper to support an individual with disabilities in the community.
Money is not the only defense New Jersey officials have brought before the court. In a similar case last year, attorneys for the state argued unsuccessfully that New Jersey should not be held to the tenets of the ADA because the federal law infringes on states’ rights, reports The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. To read more click here.