Dec. 17, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) announced that the House Health Committee made a monumental vote today to keep Polk and White Haven state centers open, despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s call to close them both. The closures he requested would evict residents against their will and result in the loss of nearly 1,100 jobs in an area that is already struggling economically.

Since Wolf in August mandated closure of the state centers, more than 4,000 people digitally signed an electronic petition James created to give voice to residents’ caregivers and families, as well as members of the community. With the overwhelmingly negative response to the pending closures, James began to advocate against them.

“Like so many people in the district, I was appalled at the governor’s request, especially since he had not even visited Polk to see the center and the incredible care its residents receive each day,” James said. “From hearings to rallies, I have been actively fighting this injustice in Harrisburg.”

As Senate Bill 906 passed the House Health Committee, it will now advance for a vote by the full House.

“While I remain optimistic that my colleagues will support the bill so it can be sent to the governor for review, I am concerned that he will veto it in favor of his own agenda rather than act in accordance with the will of the people. While today was successful, the fight is not over. We must continue to work together for each and every resident of Polk and White Haven,” James added.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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