Legislation sponsored by Bergen/Passaic Senatior Bob Gordon, which would require the state develop a plan to put attention towards helping people in New Jersey manage and prevent diabetes, passed the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on Monday.
“Diabetes is a serious health issue in the United States. It affects nearly one-out-of-nine residents here in New Jersey,” said Gordon who represents District 38 which includes New Milford. “It is time that we bring together state agencies and stakeholders and help develop a plan of action for the prevention and management of this disease.”
The legislation would require the state Department of Health to work with the Departments of Children and Families and Human Services to conduct biannual reports on the impact of diabetes on state programs and budgets, as well as the benefits of current programs to address diabetes, according to a statement released Monday.
It would also require the Department of Health to create an action plan to make recommendations for potential legislation, as well as to include detailed budget blueprints identifying needs, costs and resources required to implement these plan.
New Jersey would be joining Kentucky and Texas by enacting legislation that would require diabetes action plans, according to according to the National Conference on State Legislatures (NCSL). Similar bills are also pending in Michigan and North Carolina.
More than 650,000 residents in New Jersey have been diagnosed with diabetes according to a 2011 report issued by the Virginia-based Institute for Alternative Futures and it's estimated another 375,000 undiagnosed cases.
The bill was approved with a vote of 9-0 and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.