Developmental Centers

Joe and several Mahoning Valley legislators fought for months to save the Youngstown Developmental Center (YDC) and developmental centers across the state.

Ohio’s current state administration has closed several developmental centers across the state, including one in Joe’s own district in Youngstown.

Joe and Senator Capri Cafaro of Hubbard fought for months to save the Youngstown Developmental Center (YDC). They were joined in their fight by Representative Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) and State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown).

This group of Valley legislators were one step from saving the centers when Governor Kasich stepped in.

It crushed Joe when their efforts were unsuccessful. He couldn’t believe the state would allow YDC’s residents to be ripped from their homes in that manner.

What Happened:

Joe and Senator Cafaro fought YDC’s closure every step of the way. They started by meeting with community leaders and OCSEA to discuss what they could do.

Then they introduced a bill to save the developmental centers. This bill would have created a bipartisan commission to review every center up for closure and reject harmful closures like the one in Youngstown.

Then the Valley legislators fought to make sure Governor Kasich did not close the centers while their bill to save them was moving forward.

They even got their plan inserted into the state budget – and it passed. Literally all it needed was for the governor to sign it into law.

But Governor Kasich chose to single handedly line item veto that piece of the budget bill and take the provision to save YDC out.

Because Dems are in such a huge minority in the Statehouse, they couldn’t get the votes to override Governor Kasich’s veto.

Keeping Up The Fight

Joe lost that fight at the very last hurdle. But he still hasn’t given up. This year, he got a provision added to the newest state budget to give the YDC building to the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

That provision passed and was signed into law.

Hopefully the Mental Health and Recovery Board will now be able to use the YDC facility to help the disabled community.

What’s Next?

As governor, Joe will support legislation similar to the provision that Governor Kasich vetoed. A closure commission would help prevent the unnecessary closure of developmental centers, which are critical for residents and their families.

Joe will also work to invest the proper resources into programs and facilities to help developmentally disabled Ohioans live full and rewarding lives.