Illinois’ governor is defending his administration’s plan to move people out of state institutions for the mentally and physically disabled and into community care settings. Mental health care advocates and parents of those in state-run facilities have blasted the governor’s plan, which aims to transition all residents into less expensive community settings within three years. Governor Pat Quinn says the decision shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
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“I think it’s important that we put the person first,” he says. “The money of the state is going to follow the person. This is a policy I’ve enunciated before. We’re going to implement it in a very positive, humane way.” Centers in Jacksonville and Tinley Park will be the first to close. Quinn’s administration says community based care settings allow individualized attention based on the person’s needs. Critics say the closing facilities are the best option for some residents, who aren’t ready for community living.