Measure to stop NY institutions closing criticized by advocates of community-based services

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ALBANY, New York — New York's Senate has approved legislation to postpone for two years Cuomo administration plans to close state institutions for the disabled and mentally ill, prompting an outcry from advocates of more community-based services.

The bill, which has also cleared the Assembly Mental Health Committee, would postpone closures and consolidations of facilities operated by the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities until April 1, 2017.

Sponsors say more time is needed to put appropriate safety nets in place.

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services says state money should be spent as planned on more housing and clinical services in communities, not more expensive state institutions.

The bill sponsors represent Binghamton, where Broome Development Center is scheduled to close in 2016.

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