TRENTON (AP) — The state Senate approved a bill that would allow New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities living in out-of-state facilities and facing the possibility of a forced return to remain where they are.

State House Senate Chamber (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media)

The legislation passed Thursday and is the result of talks between lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie.

The policy known as Return Home New Jersey dates to 2009 and is aimed at returning adults with developmental disabilities placed in other states' facilities to New Jersey.

Lawmakers say the program was disruptive for some families and individual who were happy with their out-of-state care.

The compromise legislation permits individuals or their guardians to opt out of the program if they object in writing.

The bill next heads to the Assembly.

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