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WJBD - Local News - State Rep. Charlie Meier Presents Developmental Center Bill Before Sub-Committee Wednesday

State Rep. Charlie Meier Presents Developmental Center Bill Before Sub-Committee Wednesday

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

State Representative Charlie Meier presented his bill before a sub-committee of the Human Services Committee Wednesday morning.  No vote was taken on the measure Wednesday morning.  

The bill is designed to analyze how developmental center closures are impacting patients. House Bill calls for a thorough six-month study of the transition for patients of the Jacksonville Developmental Center before any other developmental centers in Illinois can be closed.  The Jacksonville facility closed in November 2012.

Meier stated that the state and the governor need to do what's best for the residents of developmental centers.  "This is a bill that guarantees a safe move.  If everything is great with what has happened with the Jacksonville transfers, then we ask that you live up to Governor Quinn's promise for transparency.  We ask that the FOIA requests about the residents' moves and what's happened with them be put to rest, that if we've been given misinformation, let us get out the right information.  We want what is best for these residents.  We demand that they be treated with equal respect and care, just as if they were one of our loved ones too", said Meier.  

State Representative John Cavaletto attended the hearing, speaking on behalf of the resident of the Murray Center in Centralia, saying that the process to save it has been a reactive one, not a proactive one.  "Every one of them, there are some of them who can go to CILA homes and I say let them go, but when you're bed ridden and you're being fed with a feeding tube and being taking from one bed to another bed, it is not making life better for those people, and it's also taking them away from their mothers and fathers who are close by them.  I really believe that the Murray Center should become a resident for those profound people in this state", said Cavaletto.  

The bill would slow the closure process of Murray Center, which is scheduled to close by October 31st, 2013.  Under the measure DHS shall provide a report to the General Assembly after the observation period.   The measure also mandates that no resident of any State operated developmental center can be removed from the effective date until 3 months after the filing of the report without the consent of the resident or the guardian of the resident.

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