Three bills that are part of a nine-bill legislative package to combat healthcare staffing shortages unanimously advanced in the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week and are scheduled for a vote before the full Assembly on Monday.
The package, introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald last October and supported by NJBIA, provide measures that incentivize more people to teach and work in the field, as well as eliminate some of the barriers that prevent qualified applicants from being hired.
“As a shortage of healthcare workers is challenging the industry in New Jersey, it’s good that some of these bills are moving,” said Alexis Bailey, NJBIA vice president of Government Affairs.
“These bills will go a long way in attracting individuals into healthcare professions and ease regulatory burdens while maintaining the highest level of care for New Jerseyans. We thank Majority Leader Greenwald for his continued leadership on this critical issue.”
The three bills that advanced this week include:
- A-4615 Greenwald/Reynolds-Jackson/Park – Requires the state to foster development and implementation of graduate medical education programs in behavioral health care
- A-4617 DeAngelo/Haider/Greenwald – Requires DOL work with healthcare stakeholders to identify unemployed individuals who can be trained to work in healthcare fields
- A-4618 Freiman/Murphy/Greenwald – Creates an online job portal in DOL to help connect behavioral healthcare workers with job openings
Additionally, A-4621 (Mosquera/Greenwald/Swain) is scheduled for consideration before the full Assembly during Monday’s voting session.
Bailey called this bill “critical” as it will benefit not only healthcare professionals, but all professionals licensed through the Division of Consumer Affairs by requiring the Division to issue a report regarding licensure backlogs – as well as enhance industry specific training for Division employees and assess the feasibility of outsourcing customer service calls.
“We are happy to see the Assembly moving so swiftly to advance these critical pieces of legislation,” Bailey said. “We are hopeful the Senate will follow suit and quickly get this bill package to the Governor’s desk.”