Governor’s budget would keep Greene Valley Developmental Center open through 2016

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Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed budget commits millions of dollars to keep Greene Valley Developmental Center open through the end of the year.

The original plan called for the state’s last institution for people with intellectual disabilities to close in June, but the governor proposed to spend $19.2 million in non-recurring funds to continue operating GVDC for an additional six months. According to his proposed budget, $6.2 million will come from TennCare and $11.6 million will come from federal revenue.

“These funds will allow time for the construction of private Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) homes,” the proposed budget states.

Just last month we reported more than 60 people still live at GVDC. Those people are waiting to be transitioned into group homes. Although the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities insists it could have all of those people moved out by June, the agency requested a six-month extension just to be safe.

Gov. Haslam has a promise for the dozens of people who still live at GVDC.

“No resident there is going to lose their care before we have another facility set up for them,” he said Friday while in Kingsport for the opening of Pure Foods.

DIDD agreed to close Greene Valley as part of a settlement to end a 20 year-old lawsuit that alleged abuse at state-run institutions. If needed, the agency can request a second six-month extension, which would keep the Greene County facility open through June 2017.

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