HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) joined a long list of state lawmakers who expressed disappointment with Governor Wolf’s veto today of SB 906. The bill would create a moratorium on the closure of two state centers for individuals with severe disabilities.
The PCC remains concerned about the well-being of the residents of the Polk and White Haven Centers should those centers close.
“We support home- and community-based care for individuals in the environment of their choosing,” said Eric Failing, the Executive Director of the PCC. “But we are worried about whether that will happen in this case without proper safeguards in place.”
Several PA lawmakers spoke out against the veto immediately after the Governor announced it.
Sen. John Yudichak (I-Carbon, Luzerne), Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming), Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Butler, Clarion, Forest, Vengano, Warren) and Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Warren) released a statement, which read, in part, “the Administration’s decision to close White Haven and Polk State Centers ignores the voices of families and mounting data that underscores the shortcomings of limiting choices on how best to serve individuals with intellectual disabilities.”
Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) has been fighting to keep the facilities open and also spoke out. “Governor Wolf’s cavalier dismissal of these residents’ desires, their family’s concerns, and their caregiver’s commitment is disheartening,” Mullery said in a statement. “To issue this callous veto in the face of the recent Office of Inspector General report is nothing more than repulsive.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is based in Harrisburg and is the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops.