Deal reached for Broome Developmental Center closure

By Amy Khuu

June 19, 2014 Updated Jun 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM EDT

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) To avoid an imminent veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Senate and Assembly came to an agreement Thursday night to continue with closures of institutions, like the Broome Developmental Center.

Still, legislators lauded a compromise they say will increase safety of patients and residents in their communities and save jobs.

The agreement will improve and slow the process of how people will transition back into their communities after the facility's closure. A group of stakeholders will determine a plan, according to Sen. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton.

The agreement requires those discharged to be placed in a safe setting and as near to their families as possible.

A judge will determine if someone is a danger to the community, and if so, they'll be sent to one of the two institutions that will remain in New York.

Libous, who championed the compromise, said it secures jobs and ensures the closures are carried out in a safe manner.

"Before they are placed in the community, they would take this record to a judge and the judge would make a determination," said Libous, "That certainly would go a long way in making sure we don't just let any one out of the community"

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, also said no jobs will be lost with this agreement because state workers will follow those who are discharged into society, working with them out in their respective communities.

"We also want to have time to reexamine the number of institutional beds that the federal government is requiring us to get down to, which is 150 throughout the whole state," Lupardo said.

Lupardo recognized that the BDC has been releasing people, and she hopes this agreement will slow down that process so patients can be placed with adequate care.

A plan to slow the process has not yet been determined.

The 2016 deadline is still in place to close the center.