Saxman offers proposal to keep CCCA open
State Del. Chris Saxman has a plan for keeping the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents open.
“The Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents serves a critical role for children and families in the Commonwealth, and that is why we are doing everything we can to see that this resource remains open” said Saxman, who is introducing a budget amendment to restore the $6 million in funding for the Staunton-based Commonwealth Center, a 40-bed mental-health facility that provides mental-health services to children and adolescents who by and large are not able to get those services from private-sector providers.
State Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is co-patroning the amendment. “After speaking with constituents and those involved in the operation and utilization of the Center, the governor’s proposal to close the Center presently does not include an obvious plan where these children will be served and no guaranteed providers in the private sector to serve the children,” Landes said. “I hope we will keep the Center open. I do favor community-based services for health treatment, but clearly these young people need short-term treatment and care, which CCCA provides.”
The amendment from Saxman and Landes proposes that money for the restored funding come from a delay in purchasing new textbooks in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. That move would save the state $79 million, Saxman said, providing funding that would keep the Center open and go toward reducing the state’s $2.9 billion shortfall otherwise as well.
“Providing a safety-net for children is one of the core services of government. In light of Virginia’s significant budget shortfall this year, there are certain sacrifices that will have to be made, but I do not believe we should sacrifice the safety and care of the children served by the CCCA,” Saxman said.
– Story by Chris Graham