Executive Order No. 227 (2021) -

Executive Order No. 227 (2021)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 227 (2021)

An Order Creating the Age-Friendly State Advisory Council

Issued: March 2, 2021.

Effective: March 2, 2021.

WHEREAS, New Jersey's population of individuals age 65 and over is expected to grow from 1.5 million in 2019 to 1.9 million by the year 2030; and

WHEREAS, by the end of this decade one in five New Jerseyans will be age 65 or older; and

WHEREAS, across the United States, individuals age 65 and over are projected to outnumber children under age 18 by the year 2030; and

WHEREAS, research shows that this population overwhelmingly want to remain in their homes and communities as they age; and

WHEREAS, about one-third of New Jersey residents age 55 or older live in large-lot, car-dependent communities; and

WHEREAS, access to quality health care and long-term services and supports are essential for older residents to remain in their homes and communities; and

WHEREAS, despite representing only 36 percent of New Jersey's population, people age 50 and over accounted for 48 percent of the State's Gross Domestic Product in 2015, which in turn supported 54 percent of New Jersey's jobs and 47 percent of State and local taxes; and

WHEREAS, active aging is a life-long process and an "age-friendly" community is one that is friendly for people of all ages who live, work, study and participate in activities there; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has developed a Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities to promote public policies that improve the health, well-being, satisfaction, and quality of life for all residents by focusing on eight key domains of community life that impact active aging:

1. Outdoor spaces and buildings-accessibility to and availability of clean, safe community centers, parks, and other recreational facilities;

2. Transportation-safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation, "Complete Streets" types of initiatives, hospitable built environments;

3. Housing-wide range of housing options, aging in place and other home modification programs, housing that is accessible to transportation and community and health services;

4. Social participation-access to recreational and cultural activities, opportunities for all residents to participate in social and civic engagement with their peers and both older and younger people;

5. Respect and social inclusion-programs to support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, programs to encourage multigenerational interaction and dialogue, programs to combat loneliness and isolation among older residents;

6. Civic participation and employment-promotion of paid work and volunteer opportunities for older residents, opportunities for older residents to engage in formulation of policies relevant to their lives;

7. Communication and information-promotion of and access to the use of technology to keep older residents connected to their community and friends and family, both near and far;

8. Community support and health services-access to homecare services, clinics, programs to promote active aging (physical exercise and healthy habits); and

WHEREAS, enabling people to continue living full lives in their homes and communities requires intentional and inclusive planning to develop and revive key age-friendly features, including compact neighborhoods with diverse housing types; downtowns with homes, shops, restaurants and entertainment close to each other; walkable and well-connected streets; and good transportation options;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. There is hereby created an Age-Friendly State Advisory Council ("Advisory Council") in the Department of Human Services (the "Department"). The Advisory Council, which shall be purely advisory in nature, shall be chaired by the Commissioner of the Department or her designee.

2. In addition to the Commissioner of the Department, the Advisory Council shall consist of at least 10 members, including the Lieutenant Governor in her capacity as Commissioner of Community Affairs, the Commissioner of Health, and the Commissioner of Transportation, or their designees, as well as representatives from county and municipal governments or local authorities, community aging and inclusion stakeholders, the business community, and experts from the higher education community. The Governor may, as determined to be appropriate, appoint additional members to the Advisory Council. All public members of the Advisory Council shall be appointed by the Governor, serve at the pleasure of the Governor, and serve without compensation.

3. The Advisory Council shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of its members and shall convene as often as practicable and as requested by the Governor or chairperson.

4. The objectives of the Advisory Council shall include, but not be limited to, consideration of the following:

a. Identifying opportunities for, and barriers to, the creation of livable communities for people of all ages across the State of New Jersey;

b. Recommending best practices for age-friendly employment and civic participation among partners such as health and community services, business leaders, local and elected officials, advocacy organizations and volunteer groups, and innovative public-private partnerships; and

c. Promoting age-friendly community inclusion and equitable outcomes by examining programs and practices to ensure that they address disparities experienced by older adults of every race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.

5. Within eighteen months of the effective date of this Order, informed by the advice of the Advisory Council, the Department shall develop a blueprint of best practices for advancing age-friendly practices across the State and submit such blueprint to the Governor. The report shall be made available to the public at the same time.

6. The Department shall supply staff support to the Advisory Council as necessary. The Advisory Council is authorized to call upon any Executive Branch department or agency to supply it with information or other assistance available to such agency as the Advisory Council determines to be necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each Executive Branch department and agency is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Advisory Council within the limits of its statutory authority and to furnish such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order. The Advisory Council may consult with experts and other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.

7. For purposes of this Order, "Executive Branch departments and agencies" shall mean any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State government and any agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, division, institution, office, or other instrumentality within or created by any such department, and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality, or agency over which the Governor exercises executive authority, as determined by the Attorney General.

8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published June 23, 2017 in the New Jersey Register at 49 N.J.R. 2307(a). Published March 2, 2021 in the New Jersey Register at 53 N.J.R. 572(b).)

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