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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 25, 2019 11:22 AM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery and Rep. Tarah Toohil, Rep. R. Lee James
To: All House members
Subject: Moratorium on Closing of White Haven and Polk State Centers
Fear of the unknown can be deeply debilitating and a feeling with which we are all familiar. Today, hundreds of families across this Commonwealth are grappling with the fear of their loved one being forced from the place they have called home for a large portion of their life. For others, they are struggling to find an alternative facility that will match the immense needs of their family member before time runs out.

We support the integration of those living with intellectual disabilities into the community where they can thrive and become more independent. But for the residents of the White Haven and Polk State Centers, that is simply not a compassionate option. Many of these individuals require 24/7 attention and extensive medical care morning and night. Closing these facilities forces families to make excruciatingly difficult emotional and financial decisions for individuals whom we have vowed to protect.

For some of these residents, the closure and forced exit could be incredibly damaging and traumatic. Before we uproot the lives of these vulnerable Pennsylvanians, we must truly understand the impact the decision may have on the remaining time they have and make readily available the resources to seamlessly continue care. That is why we are taking swift action to introduce legislation that would enact a moratorium on the closing of these facilities until we are better prepared as a state to respond to the impending result.

Please join us in supporting this legislation and this critical decision to buy more time for the residents of White Haven and Polk and their families.

Introduced as HB1918