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Leaders look for answers ahead of Broome Developmental Center closure

By Kerry Longobucco.
The clock is ticking, and local leaders want an answer from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Broome Developmental Center is set to close as soon as March 2016, under a plan that would close all but two developmental centers statewide within the next year. Local leaders want Cuomo (D) to make sure residents aren't suddenly left without support.

On Thursday, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D) and Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (D) pushed Cuomo to sign a bill ensuring these individuals have services as they move into community residential settings.

Officials who work with the developmentally disabled directly say if plans aren't put in place, the impact could be devastating for residents, who suffer from a wide ride range of physical, psychological or intellectual issues.

"There is the fear that they're placed in a setting that possibly isn't prepared for them, that they need to be returned," Dave Jenkins, president of CSEA Local 449, said. "Or they can't be returned, and they could end up in jail,"

The bill passed the assembly unanimously in June. Cuomo has until November 21 to take action.