Senator Scott Hutchinson joined with residents and family members of Polk and White Haven State Centers in the State Capitol on Tuesday (January 21) to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against Governor Wolf and Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller to protect the rights of residents to stay in those facilities.
Video of the complete press conference.
“I am here to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the individuals who reside at the Polk Center, that call it their home, that feel that it is a stable, loving and protective environment,” said Senator Hutchinson at the press conference to announce the lawsuit. “They should not be ripped out of their homes. Therefore, I stand in support of this lawsuit.”
The Wolf Administration announced plans on August 14, 2019 to close both State Centers by 2022. The federal lawsuit alleges the closing of the State Centers is a violation of the Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
Senator Hutchinson said the legal filing complements Senate Bill 906, a measure he co-sponsored that would establish a moratorium on the closure the State Centers.
“We feel it is important that we cover every base, whether it is legislatively – as we work with a moratorium bill that is working its way through the House and Senate — but also in this respect to go into court and say these individuals have a right to a safe, secure and high-quality place to call their home,” he said.
Senate Bill 906 was initially approved by the Senate on November 18. The bill was amended and approved by the House of Representatives on January 15. It is now back before the Senate for a concurrence vote.
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