New Jersey’s mismanaged, deadly state-run veterans homes may lose federal funding

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TRENTON, NJ – During the pandemic, New Jersey’s two state-run veterans homes became COVID-19 death traps. More than 200 died during the COVID-19 pandemic, and federal officials are charging the Murphy administration with mismanagement and non-compliance with safety standards.

On October 27, 2020, the Department of Justice notified New Jersey state officials that we had opened an investigation into conditions of care at the New Jersey Memorial Veterans Homes at Menlo Park and Paramus. 

According to a report by, federal officials are threatening to cut funding to New Jersey’s two veterans homes.

“U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said the state-run nursing home could also be terminated from all Medicare and Medicaid programs, absent major changes there within the next six months,” the report claimed.

New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio today put the blame squarely in the hands of Governor Phil Murphy.

“It’s clear that the Murphy administration is unwilling or unable to investigate itself or resolve the mismanagement at our State-run veterans homes that may soon result in the loss of federal funding in at least one facility,” said Pennacchio. “After hundreds of unnecessary deaths and tens of millions of dollars paid out in legal settlements, it’s shocking they don’t appear to have made any real progress in improving protections for veterans home residents.”

Pennacchio has been calling for an investigation into the mismanagement but has been ignored by Democrats and the Murphy administration.

“If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are genuine in their concerns about these continued failings, which I believe they are, they should join us in supporting a full legislative investigation with subpoena power to help identify the problems and develop effective solutions,” Pennacchio added. “The simple fact is the Legislature has done next to nothing so far, and it hasn’t worked.”