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State agency taking time with closing southern Illinois developmental center closure

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A week after a federal court ruled the state of Illinois could move forward with closing a developmental center in southern Illinois, state officials said there's no timetable for shuttering it.

The Warren Murray Developmental Center in Centralia serves about 250 residents.

"We will have more information in the coming weeks and will continue to be in constant communication with all parties involved," Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman Januari Smith told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (http://bit.ly/1plOZW4 ). "This will be a long process and the focus right now is on restarting discussions with parents about all the living options that are available."

A federal judge ruled last week that the state has the authority to close the center. Parents of children that the center serves wanted to stop the closure, but the judge said the parents didn't prove the closure would cause them irreparable harm.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has supported closing some state-run institutions, including the Murray Developmental Center, and transferring disabled residents into community-based care as part of a strategy to save money and improve the quality of care for residents. The Jacksonville Developmental Center has already been closed.

His Republican opponent in the governor's race, businessman Bruce Rauner, has met with relatives of Murray residents and said he supports keeping Murray open.


Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com

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