CENTRALIA - Though scheduled to close in November, Centralia's Murray Developmental Center remains open due to a court order after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the center's residents. Local lawmakers continue to fight for the center to stay open. This week, key Republican House members visited the center and renewed a sense of urgency to keep the facility open.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) toured the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center and two local Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA’s) with State Representatives Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and John Cavaletto (R-Salem). Meier and Cavaletto have been fighting continuously to save Murray Center since it was announced that the Governor planned on closing it and transferring the residents to group homes.
“I am glad to have been given the opportunity to tour these facilities and meet the wonderful residents, families, and caregivers that will be negatively impacted by the Governor’s actions. Representatives Meier and Cavaletto always tell the rest of us how much of a mini-community Murray Center is, and that sense of home and family became very clear during my tour,” Leader Durkin said.
“I’ve always believed people like those living at Murray Center need our full care and support. I’m convinced that we must do everything we can to save Murray Center and continue to provide a safe and loving home for the residents there.” Durkin continued.
“I thank Leader Durkin for coming downstate and experiencing for himself what makes Murray Center such a special place. I have a standing invitation for every lawmaker in Illinois, including the Governor, that I will personally tour Murray Center with them and show them why the residents need it so badly. I’m still hoping for a Christmas miracle that the Governor finally understands how important this facility is and stops his crusade to close it,” Rep. Meier said.
“I’m very pleased Leader Durkin was able to come and tour Murray Center. More importantly, I’m glad he was able to meet the wonderful people that live there and are depending on people like him to help fight to save their home. Saving Murray Center has been a very long and difficult battle, but we’re all still fighting hard and gaining allies every day,” Rep. Cavaletto said.
The Warren G. Murray Developmental Center, or Murray Center, was slated for closure by the Governor during his 2012 Budget Address. Since that time a coalition of family members of residents, staff members, and community members has worked with state representatives and senators to try and remove Murray Center from the closure list. Murray Center was slated to close this past November, however legal action by the Friends of Murray Center and Murray Parents Association has put the closure off indefinitely until court hearings can take place.
Also in attendance for the tour were State Representatives Dennis Reboletti (R-Addison) and Brad Halbrook (R- Charleston).