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Commission To Look At Closing Kansas Facilities, Moving People And Money To Community
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 19, 2003

TOPEKA, KANSAS--A legislative panel has proposed a commission be created to study the closing of one institution housing people with developmental disabilities and one institution housing people with mental illness, Kansas newspapers reported Wednesday.

The "closure commission" would look at consolidating services at the five state-run institutions and moving residents -- and the money to support them -- to "more modern" community-based settings.

The proposal, made by the House Appropriations Committee, was submitted as part of its budget for the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS).

Parsons State Hospital and Kansas Neurological Institute currently house a total of about 366 residents with developmental disabilities, but have a combined capacity of 790 residents. Larned State, Osawatomie State and the Rainbow Mental Health Facility currently house about 501 people with mental illness, but are able to house a total of 582.

The work of a similar commission formed in 1995 led to the closings the following year of two facilities in Kansas.

SRS Secretary Janet Schalansky said that the department has already furloughed 120 employees to save money and is keeping about 900 vacant positions unfilled.

"Commission would advise on closing state hospitals" (Topeka Capital-Journal)


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