Public Support To Keep Children's Psych Center Open

Kearns: 6,000 surveys returned to my office in last month

Mike Baggerman
August 02, 2017 - 1:02 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman


WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WBEN) - Assemblymen Mickey Kearns and David DiPietro along with State Senator Patrick Gallivan announced that nearly 6,000 surveys were returned to Kearns' office in support of keeping the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center open.

Both state houses passed a bill preventing a merger between the West Seneca facility and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. However, Governor Cuomo supports the merger of the facilities by citing cost savings measures.

The passed bill has yet to be given to the governor because local officials want Cuomo to understand the public support for keeping the children's psychiatric center separate from the adult-incorporated facility in Buffalo.

"As part of the survey so far we received over 2,460 responses supporting keeping the WNYCPC in West Seneca," Kearns said. "Those are Buffalo residents. In West Seneca, we've received over 1,495. In Orchard Park, 775. In Lackawanna, 272. We've also received resolutions from all over."

Advocates for keeping the facility open argue that the setting for the Buffalo Psychiatric Center is inappropriate for children and that placing children in an adult facility is detrimental for the mental health of the kids. 

The bill to block the merger was passed in mid-June and needs to be presented to Governor Cuomo by the Senate because they passed the bill first.

"We have our so-called campaign to garner more support to let Western New Yorkers have their voices heard," Senator Gallivan said. "We'll consolidate all of that and once we poll all that together we will send it to the governor."

According to the rules of the state legislation, if the governor were to veto the bill, it could be overturned by both houses if they can agree to reverse it by a two-thirds majority. 

"If I have to go back to my leader, Speaker Heastie, who has been very supportive of us...if we have to do this and make that case to him, I want to be able to say these are the people in my district in support this," Kearns said. "I'll make my case to him but hopefully the governor will do the right thing and save the children."

Gallivan also said he would also attempt to override a veto but hopes to avoid it. 

LISTEN: Assemblyman Mickey Kearns & David DiPietro along with State Senator Patrick Gallivan on efforts to keep WNYCPC open


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