An advocate for those with disabilities says he knows a way to help the state financially. Jacksonville Developmental Center, which housed many with developmental disabilities, was closed in 2012 as part of state budget cuts. Don Moss, executive director for United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois, wrote an open letter to legislators to close the rest of the state-operated facilities. Moss says smaller institutions will help persons with disabilities more and help the state financially.
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“It makes sense in both directions, not only for the better lives of the people with severe disabilities who are now in the institutions and that could be in the community, but it would help save the state a good deal of money that it sorely needs right now,” Moss said. If the facilities were to close, many workers would be without a job. Moss says there would be available jobs but his focus is helping the disabled.
“There would be plenty of openings in the smaller facilities. They would not be paying as well as the state does, but the jobs would be there for many of them,” Moss said. Moss says, depending on how it is calculated, the state would save at least $123 million a year.