House votes to stop closure of centers

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OKLAHOMA CITY—A measure that would stop a plan to close a few facilities across the state has passed the House Human Service Committee Monday.

House Bill 2053 would stop the implementation of a plan to close the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid and the Southern Resource Center of Pauls Valley.

The legislation requires a plan for the facilities that considers the concerns of the families and the disabled.

In November, the board voted to close the centers just days before the agency’s oversight board was voted out of existence.

“This closure plan was voted in by a board that has been abolished by a vote of the people,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Mike Jackson. “I think it is time for lawmakers to step in and address the concerns of these vulnerable citizens and their families.”

The two facilities provide residential services for Oklahoma’s most seriously developmentally challenged adults, some also suffer from serious chronic medical conditions.

“Closing these facilities disrupts the care of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens and has not been proven to save the state money,” said Jackson. “I am willing to work with all parties to ensure the best care is given to these Oklahomans.”

House Bill 2053 will now advance to the Calendar Committee for consideration.

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