Governor Won't Be Held Hostage By Institution Supporters
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 15, 2003
COLUMBUS, OHIO--Last Friday, Governor Bob Taft vetoed a bill that would provide protections for crime victims with developmental disabilities.
Believe it or not, this is a good thing.
Protections certainly are needed. If SB 4 would have stayed focused on protecting crime victims it would have been a measure welcomed by everyone.
But legislators, under pressure from institution workers and family members of institution residents, tacked on a provision that would have slowed the closure of two state-run facilities -- a provision Taft simply could not live with.
Taft announced in February his plans to close Springview Developmental Center by June 2005 and Apple Creek Developmental Center by June 2006 to save the state an estimated $23 million over the next four years.
Lawmakers knew Taft would support the crime victims legislation, so they added elements to the measure that would establish a multi-step process to make the governor justify proposed closures of state institutions -- a process that could take nearly a year.
In order for Taft to say "No" to the added "closure" provisions, he had to veto the entire bill.
"It is unfortunate that the inclusion of facility-closure language in SB 4 leaves me no choice but to veto the bill," Taft said in a statement.
"I strongly urge the General Assembly to pass another bill that includes only the (MRDD) task force's recommendations and to send such a bill to my desk at the earliest possible date in the new year."
Legislators say they plan to override the governor's veto. Taft says he is not giving up the fight.
"Apple Creek study vetoed" (Akron Beacon Journal)
"State may reach settlement in lawsuit about housing disabled" (Dayton Daily News)