Senate Approves Legislation to Delay Polk Center Closure

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The Senate today (November 18) passed legislation that establishes a moratorium on closing the Polk and White Haven State Centers, according to Senator Scott Hutchinson, a co-sponsor and strong supporter of the bill.

“The Department of Human Services (DHS) is seemingly unmoved by the heartfelt appeals from the families of the residents who will be uprooted by the closure of Polk and White Haven State Centers,” Senator Hutchinson said. “That means the Legislature must act to protect these vulnerable individuals. Senate Bill 906 does that. I continue to believe that the best solution would be a total reversal of decision to close the Polk State Center. But at least this moratorium will provide additional time and impose important conditions that will protect the well-being of its residents.”

Senate Bill 906 would do the following:

  • Prohibits the Department of Human Services from closing a state facility until all Medicaid waiver-eligible individuals in the Commonwealth are authorized to begin receiving home and community-based services.
  • Requires DHS to provide notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin when all individuals have received authorization to begin home and community-based services.
  • Establishes the Task Force on the Closure of State Centers upon publication of notice.
  • Requires the Secretary of DHS to convene an initial meeting of the task force within 60 days.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact:          Justin Leventry           (717) 787-9684           jleventry@pasen.gov