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Closing of Living Centers for the Disabled Recommended

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The Sunset Advisory Commission of Texas recently released a report recommending state legislators close down six state supported living centers for people with disabilities. The Sunset Advisory Commission is tasked with identifying and eliminating inefficiency in Texas State agencies and relaying their concerns to the Texas Legislature. The report said that these living centers should be shuttered because they are expensive, unnecessary, and falling apart.

More specifically, the report requires the Department of Aging and Disability Services to close the Austin State Supported Living Center by 2017, to establish a commission to evaluate and determine an additional five centers to close, and to close those five centers no later than August 31, 2022. The reports calls for the closing of the Austin SSLC because "the Austin SSLC continues to demonstrate the most serious violations of any (living center), threatening its federal certification and, more importantly, the safety of its residents." All of the state living centers have been under federal scrutiny for years, since the U.S. Justice Department said residents were dying from bad medical treatment, lying around with nothing to do, being abused by their caretakers, and receiving generally bad care.

However, depending on which centers are closed, the change could affect between 1,000 and 2,000 residents, who would be forced to transfer into other living centers or more into community settings. State Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said that the Austin facility has failed its residents, but shutting down the facility would not fix the problem either.

Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.

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