When the Ebensburg State Center was threatened with closure two years ago, my office sprung into action, mobilizing its 702 workers and the families of the 200-plus severely disabled adults that call the center home.
We successfully beat back a House bill that would have shut it down forever.
That was a legislative victory, but new tactics will be needed to combat the Wolf administration’s strategy that sidesteps the Legislature.
In August, the state Department of Human Services announced the planned closure of two similar facilities, Polk State Center in Venango County and White Haven State Center in Luzerne County.
To ensure that Ebensburg State Center doesn’t suffer the same fate, I have joined forces with representatives of both parties to sponsor legislation that puts a moratorium on closing any state center. Not only would this legislation keep Ebensburg State Center open, it would prevent Polk and White Haven from closing on the Wolf administration’s whim.
I’ve recently met with Gov. Tom Wolf to discuss the future of the Ebensburg center, and he assured me that there are no plans to close the facility in the next couple of years.
I intend to be in regular communication with center’s workers and affected families, so we are well prepared to respond effectively as needed.
Over the next few years, our community must continue to advocate on behalf of the center’s residents and the 700 workers.
State Rep. Frank Burns
East Taylor Township