FY21 State Budget Benefits Autism Community

October 01, 2020

Last month, Governor Murphy signed into law the revised Budget for the Fiscal Year beginning on October 1, 2020 and ending on June 30, 2021. Despite concerns over budget cuts due to the pandemic, we are pleased that the Legislature and the Governor have approved a spending plan that will continue to benefit the autism community over the coming year.

Children’s Services

The Department of Children and Families is re-allocating $45 million dollars within their budget to improve the rates for out-of-home and in-community services provided by the Children’s System of Care. This is the first time in nearly fifteen years that an investment of this kind has been made to improve these services. These programs are vital to the autism community and serve individuals with some of the most acute and severe challenging behavior.

Direct Support Professionals

The budget includes a $40 million investment to increase the living wage of Direct Support Professionals and ensure that their compensation stays ahead of the state’s rising minimum wage. This increase applies to all DSPs who work with children and adults in residential settings and will go into effect on January 1, 2021. The budget also includes a temporary wage increase of $3 per hour for DSPs from October 1st through December 31st. This is a continuation of the pandemic-related wage increase that was issued through an Executive Order by the Governor earlier this year.

Pandemic Assistance

The state has allocated $25 million in funding to assist service providers licensed by the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Human Services with pandemic-related expenses. These funds will assist providers in purchasing additional cleaning supplies, necessary technology upgrades, and personal protective equipment.

Update:  On 10/19/2020, plans were released outlining the process for allocating these much-needed funds.

Pandemic Assistance Press Release


We thank the Governor and the Legislature for their ongoing support for individuals with autism and their families throughout the state. For any questions, comments, or additional clarification on the state budget, please contact us at publicpolicy@autismnj.org.

Experience Our Power of Connection

Autism New Jersey will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and state Department of Health as the state begins to move through the stages of reopening.

We’re proud to say that, since the beginning of the pandemic, not one call to our Helpline has gone unanswered. If you need assistance, call us at 800.4.AUTISM or information@autismnj.org or send us a message/chat with us via the link at the bottom of this page.

We remain focused on our mission to be a resource for the autism community. We recognize that there are many questions and complex considerations, and we are working hard to address these substantial issues and provide our expertise and stakeholder perspectives as plans are developed. We encourage you to regularly visit our central hub of coronavirus resources for the autism community.