March 16, 2011

Senate committee gives a quarter of its hearing over to Indiana advocate for closure of Residential Habilitation Centers

The Senate Health and Long-Term Committee today (March 16) spent a quarter of its public hearing listening to a member of The ARC of Indiana who talked from a “parent’s perspective” about how that state “successfully” closed its five residential habilitation centers and moved residents into the community.

The testimony came just days after a legislative delegation visited Frances Haddon Morgan Center in Bremerton and learned the center provides more cost-effective care than community options.

The Indiana presentation raised the skepticism from at least one of the committee members.

“My worry here is the fiscal realities of the current recession are probably limiting the resources that might be available to assist in this transition,” Sen. Steve Conway of the 29th District said. “That’s just an obvious question as well as an observation.

The issue of RHC closures is expected to be a big part of the biennial budget debate that starts next week when the House unveils its spending plan.

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