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Delay Urged in New York Mental Health Services Closures

Bob Joseph/WNBF News file photo

A group of area lawmakers, including Republican New York State Senator Thomas Libous of Binghamton, are calling on the state to at least delay the planned closing of the Broome Developmental Center and programs at the Binghamton and Elmira psychiatric facilities.

Libous says delaying the closures until April of 2015 would allow more time for professionals to plan how to move clients into other programs.

Libous has introduced legislation that would delay the plans for closure, which he says will compromise care for residents and cost jobs for the region.

Democratic state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Endwell says she will sponsor the house version of the bill.

The New York Office of Mental Health in July announced plans to consolidate services, saving taxpayers money.

The plans call for the closing of the in-patient services, including youth mental health facilities at The Greater Binghamton Health Center and the Elmira Psychiatric Center by July and shutting the Broome Development Center in Binghamton by the end of March 2016.

Libous had a letter hand-delivered to the governor two weeks ago saying the closures would put an enormous strain on the region, including on the economy, health and law enforcement services.

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