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Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer Statement on Proposed FY 2021 Budget  

PISCATAWAY – NJ Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer issued the following statement regarding Governor Murphy’s delivery of his proposed FY 2021 State Budget to the New Jersey Legislature this morning:  

“The Governor’s Budget Address for the next nine months of Fiscal Year 2021 recognizes the very real and very serious challenges faced by state government to continue to serve New Jersey’s residents while reconciling a $5.6 billion revenue shortfall resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.  As a direct result of the pandemic, New Jersey is in the midst of an economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression. 

“In order to respond to New Jersey’s fiscal realities, DCF identified ways to reduce expenditures while preserving our ability to meet our Department’s statutory responsibilities and moral obligations to the children and families of the Garden State.  

“Importantly, with this budget I am confident that DCF will continue its transformation into a proactive, prevention focused, and healing centered 21st Century Child Welfare System, to advance our progress on the DCF Strategic Plan and to meet the benchmarks of quality set forth under the Sustainability and Exit Plan (SEP).  

“Despite the fiscal climate, we were able to identify $45 million to invest in the Children’s System of Care; an investment that is long overdue. This Administration is committed to providing state of the art care for youth with behavioral health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, especially now. The investment will right-size the budget to fit the scale of health care and other services currently being delivered to children, youth, and families across the State. 

“This budget also sustains critical services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence; it maintains vital services for child victims of abuse and neglect.  

“With the Governor’s Budget Address to the Legislature today, we begin the process of moving forward.  The proposed cuts and deferred investments will have real consequences for our residents and institutions, and none of the decisions were made lightly.  However, when it comes to children’s welfare, the Administration’s budget proposal represents a fair balance between challenging fiscal realities and our ongoing mission to help children and families remain safe, healthy, and connected.”   

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