Mullery vows to override governor’s veto of bill to put moratorium on White Haven, Polk center closures

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto today of S.B. 906, which would put a moratorium on the closing of the White Haven and Polk state centers:

“Governor Wolf’s decision to close the White Haven and Polk centers was wrong and his decision to veto legislation designed to protect our most vulnerable neighbors is equally wrong,” Mullery said. “Governor Wolf’s cavalier dismissal of these residents’ desires, their family’s concerns, and their caregiver’s commitment is disheartening.

“To issue this callous veto in the face of the recent Office of Inspector General report is nothing more than repulsive. Not only are our community-based care providers failing their residents, our Department of Human Services is complicit in their failings and unprepared or unwilling to protect our intellectual and developmentally disabled citizens,” Mullery added. “Anyone who read the OIG report would agree the need for a moratorium is correct and necessary.

“Governor Wolf appears more interested in saving face with interest groups like The Arc than ensuring the safety and well-being of these centers’ residents,” Mullery said. “His citation of cost savings is disgusting. My mother told me a long time ago, you get what you pay for. When it comes to caring for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, nothing could be truer.

“This cannot be the end. The voiceless need our representation now more than ever. I will do everything in my power to secure enough votes to override this inhumane veto,” Mullery said.