Sen. Scott Hutchinson urges the Senate to approve a five-year moratorium on the closing of Polk State Center.
Harrisburg — The struggle to halt the closure of the Polk State Center continued today with Senate passage of legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21) which would keep it open for a minimum of five years.
Senate Bill 924 would also create the Task Force on the Closure of State Facilities to analyze and manage the shuttering of any state center, including Polk and the White Haven State Center in Luzerne County.
Polk has been home for people with intellectual disabilities for more than a century, and today its residents are part of the local community and lead fulfilling lives there, Hutchinson said.
“Since the announcement of this closure, we have had a worldwide pandemic. What that has meant is there has been zero to little thought about where these residents will go,” Hutchinson said. “We have families deathly afraid about the future living arrangements for their very fragile family members.”
A similar measure was introduced in the previous legislative session. It was approved by the General Assembly but vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
“I hope the House of Representatives approves this bill and again sends it to the governor, and I pray he will give families and residents more time to plan for this life-changing action his administration is taking,” Hutchinson said.
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