NYS Senate votes to freeze BDC closure

By Perry Russom

June 18, 2014 Updated Jun 18, 2014 at 6:38 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The New York State Senate has approved a bill that stops, at least for now, the closure of the Broome Developmental Center (BDC).

The bill passed unanimously on Tuesday.

It calls for the state to hold off on closing the center until April 1, 2017.

The state planned on closing the BDC in March 2016 as part of a larger plan to consolidate services across the state and save money.

State Senator Tom Libous said they want to preserve the potential jobs lost and provide quality care to people who need it.

"All this bill does is it gives us some time to be able to work out whatever type of restructuring needs to be done,' said Libous.

He said 2017 gives them enough time to protect the workforce and come up with a plan.

New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said the bill is now in negotiations.

"The assembly was about to pass the bill; we learned the governor was likely about to veto. We were told we would be receiving a letter of intention tomorrow to address the concerns that we’ve raised."

The bill now moves on to the Assembly either on Wednesday or Thursday, as the legislative session winds to a close.

If approved, it will go to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk to be signed.

After the bill passed in the Senate, Libous and Lupardo met with Governor Cuomo's office, OPWDD officials and CSEA (Civil Service Employees Association) to discuss a plan for the BDC similar to the agreement to keep the Greater Binghamton Health Center open.

Libous' camp said they are hopeful by Thursday night.

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