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‘Disappointing Beyond Belief’: Rep. James Responds to Wolf’s Veto of Bill to Stop State Center Closures

Thursday, February 13, 2020 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

lee-jamesHARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) immediately responded on Wednesday to the announcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that would have placed a moratorium on the planned closures of Polk and White Haven State Centers.

The bill, Senate Bill 906, put a five-year moratorium on any state center closures, and would have established a task force to evaluate the centers and provide recommendations to the department prior to any closures. It had strong support in both chambers of the General Assembly.

“The governor favored his opinion over the voices of so many, and it’s disappointing beyond belief. Government is supposed to serve the people, but it failed today. The residents, their loved ones and the dedicated caregivers at the state centers deserve better,” James said.

James also indicated his support of a veto override. For that to be successful, the House and Senate would have to take an additional vote. Both votes would need a two-thirds majority.

The other option – which is already in process – is the lawsuit against Gov. Tom Wolf, Polk and White Haven centers, the administrators of both centers, Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller and Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs Kristin Ahrens.

“While lawsuits don’t happen as quickly as we would hope in this situation, it is another way to save the residents,” James said.

“Our work is not done yet, so I humbly ask for your continued support as we fight on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves.”


Governor Wolf Vetoes Bill Seeking to Stop Closure of Polk Center

Senate Concurs on Amendment to Bill Halting Closure of State Centers, Bill Passes to Governor Wolf

Rally Held in Harrisburg Announcing Lawsuit Against Gov. Wolf for Proposed State Center Closures

Venango County Commissioners to Host Town Hall to Update Community on Polk Center

Bill Halting Closure of State Centers for at Least Five Years Passes House

Bill Seeking to Stop Closure of Polk Center Amended, Vote Expected Today

New Venango County Commissioner Board Passes Resolution Opposing Polk Closure

Staff, Families of Residents to File Federal Lawsuit Over Planned Closure of Polk State Center

House Health Committee Votes to Keep Polk, White Haven State Centers Open

PA Senate Passes Bill That Would Put Moratorium on Polk Center Closing

Bill to Halt Polk Closure Passes House Committee

James, House Members Question Wolf’s Call to Close Polk Center

Senators Call for Probe of DHS Decision to Close State Centers

Pennsylvania Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Polk State Center Closing

Commissioners Tell PA Dept. of Human Services They Oppose Closing of Polk Center

Controversy Brews as Officials Hear from Both Sides at Public Hearing for Closure of Polk State Center

Hundreds Stand Opposed to Pending Closure of Polk Center

Lawmakers, Workers Fighting to Keep Polk Center Open

President of Polk Center Association of Parents, Friends & Family Lashes Out at PA’s Decision to Close Center

Local Leaders Stunned, Outraged Over Pennsylvania Closing Polk State Center

AFSCME Council 13 Opposes DHS Decision to Close Polk State Center, White Haven State Center

Polk Center in Venango County to Close by 2022

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