FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Joe Libutti (732) 695-3371
August 3, 2017
HOUGHTALING BILL TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, KNOWN AS “STEPHEN KOMNINOS’ LAW” PASSES ASSEMBLY
TRENTON -- Legislation sponsored by Monmouth County Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling that would provide protections for individuals with developmental disabilities was approved by the General Assembly on Monday, incorporating changes outlined in Governor Christie’s recent conditional veto of the bill. Known as “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” the bill is dedicated to the memory of 22-year-old Komninos, who tragically died when left unsupervised by a caregiver, against instruction.
“We want to believe that every group home or caregiving facility is free of abuse or neglect of patients but that is unfortunately not the case. What we’ve seen, tragically, is exploitation of some of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “The oversight and transparency this bill will provide means that those who do harm will be held accountable. It’s not just common sense, it’s the right thing to do.”
The bill (A-2503) will increase oversight for group homes and paid caregivers through unannounced site visits facilitated by the Commissioner of Human Services, increased reporting and notification in cases of injury, abuse, or neglect, and establishment of a Central Registry of Offenders who have been found guilty of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.