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Ruiz, Beach, Singleton Bill Establishing Social Innovation Loan Guarantee Pilot Program Advances

Ruiz, Beach, Singleton Bill Establishing Social Innovation Loan Guarantee Pilot Program Advances
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Ruiz, Beach, Singleton Bell Establishment of the Social Innovation Loan Guarantee Pilot Program

Trenton – In an effort to encourage private investment in public health services, the Senate introduced legislation today sponsored by Senators M. Teresa Ruiz, Senators James Beach and Senators Troy Singleton that would establish a five-year Social Innovation Loan pilot program to allow private investment in public health services.

“As New Jersey continues to battle the maternal mortality crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opioid epidemic, it is critical that we pursue innovative solutions to address the ongoing public health challenges that our residents face,” Senator Ruiz (De Essex) said. “Organizations outside the public sector have proven successful in creating innovative programs to provide treatment and support services to some of our most vulnerable communities. Stimulating private investment in these programs is the right thing to do from a public health and economic perspective.”

Bill S-4312 would require the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to establish a pilot program to guarantee loan agreements between lenders, eligible 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,” Senator Beach (De Camden/Burlington) said. “By working with nonprofits, we can increase their reach and allow them to help more people within our communities, bringing us closer to ending this terrible epidemic.”

The bill will establish a Social Innovation Loan Fund that will be used to guarantee loans issued under the pilot programme. The fund will consist of state appropriations, public or private donations, grant funding, federal funds and program fees.

“New Jersey has outstanding nonprofits across the state that do a great deal of work in addiction treatment and prevention. This legislation will provide these groups with additional funding to strengthen their opioid abuse programs,” Senator Singleton (De Burlington) said. Funding for organizations already operating in the community, we can address this issue in a cost-effective and efficient way.”

The bill would also create a Social Innovation Study Committee to identify nonprofit programs eligible for loans, solicit donations to the fund and help negotiate the terms and conditions of loan agreements.

The bill passed the Senate by 37 votes to 1.

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