Advocacy E-News November 10, 2017
November 10, 2017
DEMOCRATS EXPAND THEIR CONTROL OF THE N.J. LEGISLATURE
As Democrat Phil Murphy was elected to succeed Republican Chris Christie as governor in January, Democrats also expanded their control of the state Legislature by at least three seats, according to the most updated tally. New Jersey will be only the seventh state in the U.S. where Democrats control both the governor’s office and the state Legislature.
ARE MASS MURDERERS INSANE? USUALLY NOT, RESEARCHERS SAY
It is true that severe mental illnesses are found more often among mass murderers. About one in five are likely psychotic or delusional, but the rest of these murderers do not have any severe, diagnosable disorder. “The majority of the killers were disgruntled workers or jilted lovers who were acting on a deep sense of injustice,” and not mentally ill, Dr. Michael Stone said of his research.
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE ANNOUNCES DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES REORGANIZATION NEARLY COMPLETE
Governor Chris Christie today announced the reorganization of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) into the Department of Health is nearly complete with creation of an Integrated Health Services branch, appointment of an Integrated Health Advisory Panel, and relocation of more than 250 DMHAS staff. The New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority also issued a Request for Proposal to conduct a comprehensive analysis and make strategic recommendations for the state’s four psychiatric hospitals, one of which is a forensic center.
CHRISTIE NAMES CHRISTOPHER RINN ACTING HEALTH COMMISSIONER
Governor Chris Christie today thanked New Jersey Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett for her public health and health care accomplishments, and appointed Assistant Commissioner Christopher Rinn as Acting Commissioner of the department that now includes the Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS). Rinn joined the Department in 2010 as Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories, and Emergency Preparedness. Prior to joining the Department, Rinn served as Jersey City Medical Center’s executive director of emergency medical services and governmental affairs.
HOUSE VOTES TO CONTINUE CHIP FUNDING
The House voted 242-174 to reauthorize federal funding to maintain low-cost health insurance to 8.9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women. The vote was along party lines and reflected concerns over how Republicans in the House want to pay for continuing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The CHIP funding bill now goes to the Senate, which had its own version of a bill. However, its version does not suggest an offset to fund the program such as charging higher Medicare premiums to seniors, shortening the grace period for people who don’t pay their Affordable Care Act marketplace premiums and also redirecting money from the ACA’s prevention and public health fund.