What a fantastic NCE Summer Leadership Institute we had this past week in
Chicago. This had to be one of the best ever. Over 150 Arc Exec’s from all
over the country attended which began on Wednesday and ended Saturday.
We had sessions for new Exec’s, Succession Planning, Workforce
Development, Community Organizing, New CMS Rules and a great session
by Derrick Dufresne on Charting the Future of Services and Supports.

Now it is time to catch up. While I was at Summer Training, Judge Aspen
ruled that Governor Quinn has the authority to close the state institutions
in Centralia, Murray as predicted.

Murray will now be shuttered and I hope the individuals and families take
advantage of the great opportunities that are being offered by the Quinn
Administration. The next step will probably the a closure hearing by the
Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board in October.

Story on Murray follows.



No time line for closure after Murray Developmental Center

July 27, 2014 4:01 am  •  KURT ERICKSON H&R Springfield Bureau Chief

SPRINGFIELD – Despite a positive ruling from a federal judge, the Quinn
administration’s push to close a center for disabled residents is on indefinite

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which
operates the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, said
there is no current timetable for closing the facility.

“We will have more information in the coming weeks and will continue to be in
constant communication with all parties involved,” DHS spokeswoman Januari
Smith said. “This will be a long process, and the focus right now is on
restarting discussions with parents about all the living options that are

In a 55-page ruling issued last week, Judge Marvin Aspen said parents of
residents did not prove they would suffer irreparable harm if Murray closes as
part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s push to move residents out of state institutions and
into smaller care facilities.

Quinn has already shuttered the Jacksonville Developmental Center. Murray’s
closure has been on hold because of a lawsuit.

Parents of residents had sought to block the closing of the center, saying the
state was violating federal law by trying to move residents into smaller group

While the decision puts the closure back on track, Rita Winkeler, who
represents a group of parents who have children at the facility, she said there
is a bright spot in the judge’s ruling.
In it, Aspen said the state must work with the parents to find an appropriate
living arrangement for the residents.

“They can’t just haul people away in buses like they did when they closed the
center in Jacksonville,” Winkeler said. “It’s going to be our decision, not theirs.”

While the state had planned to place the residents in four-bed group homes,
some parents may want their children in larger nursing facilities. If there is no
space in those facilities available, the state will have to wait to move those
residents out of Murray, Winkeler said.

“I’m not sure where they’d get those beds,” Winkeler said.

The parents group also is mulling whether to appeal Aspen’s ruling. Members
participated in a conference call Thursday evening but came to no conclusion.

“At this time, our legal team is still discussing what the next legal step will be.
No decision has been made at this time,” Winkeler said.

The closure, meanwhile, has become enmeshed in the race for governor.
Quinn’s opponent, Republican Bruce Rauner, has visited Murray and pledged
to keep it open if he’s elected in November.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said the wealthy businessman from
Winnetka has not changed his position since Aspen’s ruling.

“While transitioning to community-based care is an important goal, we must
act in the best interest of Murray’s residents and their families. Closing the
facility does not make sense if there is no better option available,” Schrimpf

kurt.erickson@lee.net|(217) 782-4043

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)