State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced Monday that she is working with legislators across the aisle to prevent the Youngstown Development Center from closing. Specifically, a modified version of House Bill 73, which the representative introduced in response to the announced closure of the YDC, has garnered bi-partisan support in the form of a budget amendment.  

“This proposal still has a long road ahead of it, but this is a positive step forward in keeping the Youngstown and Montgomery Developmental Centers up and running,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “For the sake of the residents, families and workers at YDC, I remain hopeful that we will be able to keep the doors open to such an important community facility.” 

Rep. Lepore-Hagan submitted the amendment to the House Democratic Caucus for formal consideration last week. Rep. Michael Henne (R-Clayton), whose district is affected by the closure of the Montgomery Developmental Center, submitted an identical amendment to his Republican counterparts. By working together, both representatives are hopeful the amendment will be included in the updated version of the budget, expected to be introduced the week of April 13. 

House Bill 73, introduced by Reps. Lepore-Hagan and. Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) earlier this year, would subject any decision by the Governor to close, sell or privatize a facility/institution operated by a state agency to a review process by creating a State Facilities Closure Review Commission. The 13-member commission would consist of legislators and representatives of state agencies, labor unions and members of the public and would make recommendations regarding the closure or other changes to institutional facilities based upon specified criteria.

The submitted budget amendment slightly modified the language of HB 73 to ensure that the Youngstown and Montgomery Developmental Centers would be subject to the review commission before closure could be completed.

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