Springfield…. House Bill 97, which is designed analyze how developmental center closures are impacting patients, was assigned to a sub-committee of the Human Services Committee today, according to the bill’s sponsor State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville).
For residents of Centralia and the 108th District, the bill, if passed, would slow the closure of Murray Center while the study is conducted and the results are analyzed.
“It does slow the process down as a result of the bill being assigned to a sub-committee,” said Rep. Meier. “However, it also gives us time to get a good group of witnesses together to testify in favor of the bill and convince the committee members how important it is to make sure the proper procedures are put into place and to take the safety and well-being of developmental center residents into consideration when closing any facility.”
The bill calls for a thorough six-month study of the transition for patients of the Jacksonville Development Center before any other developmental centers in Illinois can be closed. The bill is designed to see how well the state handles the transition of the patients at Jacksonville before Murray Center can begin any of its own transitions.
“I plan on seeing this bill through as far as I can. If that means I need to go through a sub-committee, to get to a committee, to get to the full House of Representatives, then that’s what I’ll do,” Rep. Meier said.
The previously scheduled hearing on Wednesday morning for HB 97 in the Human Services Committee has been cancelled as result of the bill being assigned to sub-committee. Rep. Meier will update his constituents when a new hearing is scheduled.