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WJBD - Local News - Another Legislative Attempt to Be Made Tuesday To Delay Closure Of Murray Center

Another Legislative Attempt to Be Made Tuesday To Delay Closure Of Murray Center

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Another attempt is being made to keep the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia open until a study is completed on how the state handled the closure of the Jacksonville Developmental Center. A resolution will be brought before the House Human Services Committee Tuesday morning.   

The move comes as two of the first residents moved to a CILA group home got into a fight Saturday night that sent one of them to St. Mary's Hospital.  Centralia Police say the only employee at the CILA called 9-1-1 and said she was trying to separate the two men but they were too strong and one was bleeding.   Centralia Police along with ambulance personnel were called to the home on the Greenview Road.  

State Representative Charlie Meier is once again leading the effort to get the state legislature to pass a resolution to delay the closure of Murray.  He is hoping and praying with the state's blunders in trying to move the initial residents and getting Democratic State Representative Jerry Costello to sign on as a co-sponsor the outcome this time might be different.  

"I believe the problems occurring with the first five transfers at the Murray Center, problems from the last day even, is huge.  It showing what the parents feared is happening.  When we get these other people up there on the stand and testifying and I hope they realize when people start stuttering maybe they aren't telling the truth," said Meier.

Meier feels waiting for the study only makes sense.  "Right now we just want to do a stall to everything so these studies can be done.  If the state of Illinois is paying for a study, then why don't we wait till until the study is done and see how all these other residents are doing.  Then we'll go from there.  Let's see where our money is going for.  Or why do we even pay for a study if we're not even going to use it," said Meier. 

Meier says like the last resolution he has no guarantees it will even come up for a vote.  The spring legislative session is seen as the last chance for the legislature to save Murray Center.  The Murray Parents Association are also seeking to block the closure through federal court action for violation of their federal rights.  

State officials say the Quinn administration is committed to improving the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities by increasing community care options in the state of Illinois and they are continuing to move forward with the closure of Murray Center to uphold their legal obligations as outlined in the Olmstead U.S. Supreme Court decision.   

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