Jan. 15, 2020
HARRISBURG – State Rep. David Rowe (R-Snyder/Union) voted in favor of Senate Bill 906
, which passed the House today with bipartisan support. The bill institutes a moratorium on the scheduled closing of the Polk and White Haven State Centers.
The Department of Human Services had announced a three-year plan in the summer to close the state centers. The move would leave over 300 residents with disabilities across Pennsylvania to seek alternative adequate housing, as well as hundreds of people from the surrounding area unemployed.
“Everyone in our district is troubled by this unilateral action taken by the department,” said Rowe. “They seem to have no concern for the disabled people who have relied on these centers for years, which for many are their only caretaking resource.”
As amended by the House, the bill creates the Task Force on the Closure of State Facilities to analyze and manage the closure of any state center to ensure that residents with severe disabilities can be safely relocated to a facility with comparable levels of care.
“Future discussions regarding state center closures should be transparent with quality of life at the forefront of the conversation,” Rowe added. “The centers of White Haven and Polk, along with Ebensburg and Selinsgrove, are called home by hundreds of individuals with severe disabilities. We have a moral obligation to ensure that the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable among us is not compromised.”
The bill now heads back to the Senate for consideration after changes made by the House on Tuesday.
Representative David Rowe
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Haas