Ruiz, Beach and Singleton Bill establishing pilot social innovation loan guarantee program
Trenton – In an effort to encourage private investment in public health services, the Senate today proposed legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Senator James Beach and Senator Troy Singleton that would establish a pilot program social innovation loans over five years for investments in public health services.
“As New Jersey continues to tackle the maternal mortality crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic, it is essential that we seek creative solutions to address the public health challenges facing our residents. are facing, ”said Sen. Ruiz (D-Essex). “Organizations outside the public sector have been successful in creating innovative programs to provide treatment and support services to some of our most vulnerable communities. Encouraging private investment in these programs is the right thing to do from both a public health and an economic perspective. “
Bill S-4312 would require the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to establish a pilot program to secure loan agreements between lenders, qualifying organizations, and public sector entities.
“Programs to prevent and treat substance use disorders are cost-effective ways to make sure people get the help they need,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden / Burlington ). “By working with nonprofits, we can increase their reach and enable them to help more people in our communities, bringing us closer to the end of this horrific epidemic.”
The bill would establish the social innovation loan fund that would be used to guarantee loans issued under the pilot program. The fund would be made up of state credits, public or private donations, grants, federal funds, and program fees.
“New Jersey has some outstanding nonprofit organizations statewide that do important work in addiction treatment and prevention. This legislation would provide these groups with additional funding to strengthen their opioid abuse program, ”said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “By increasing funding to organizations that are already doing the work in the community, we can solve this problem in a way that is both cost-effective and efficient. “
The bill would also establish the Study Commission on Social Innovation to identify nonprofit programs eligible for loans, solicit donations for the fund, and help negotiate the terms and conditions of loan agreements.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-1.
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