Senators: Deal reached with Christie over Return Home policy

State senators and Gov. Chris Christie have come

State senators and Gov. Chris Christie have come to a deal on the "Return Home" policy for the disabled. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

TRENTON - Senate Democratic and Republican leaders say they've reached a deal with Gov. Chris Christie to allow people with developmental disabilities to remain in out-of-state facilities if they or their guardians choose.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. joined Democratic Sen. Bob Gordon and Republican Christopher "Kip" Bateman to announce the compromise on Monday.

The current Return Home program calls for New Jersey residents who have developmental disabilities and who live in other states' facilities to return to New Jersey.

Lawmakers say they've heard from families who find the policy disruptive for loved ones and in some cases other states' facilities are better than New Jersey's.

Christie spokeswoman Nicole Sizemore says the governor met with families affected by the program last week and agreed changes were needed.

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