Lawmakers continue push to save Children's Psychiatric Center

Nov 22, 2017

Legislation to ensure the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center remains in West Seneca is on its way to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

To save money, the state plans to merge WNYCPC with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center - which serves adults. Senator Patrick Gallivan says the merger is not in the best interest of children. And Assemblyman Michael Kearns says, it not only serves the Buffalo area it serves nineteen counties.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns (Left) and Sen. Patrick Gallivan met with reporters in West Seneca's Fireman's Park which overlooks WNYCPC property.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"This is our most vulnerable population. And I'm hopeful that the governor will be compassionate and sign the bill and make sure that these children and families have a good holiday season knowing that they will be safe and secure," Kearns said.  

Gallivan says children deserve a stand-alone facility. And he says  more than 16,000 people have signed petitions in favor of keeping it open.  

"The governor, of course, will have ten days to make a decision. He can either sign the legislation or veto it. If he vetoes it we're both prepared to ask our leadership to bring together the legislature to override the veto." Gallivan said.  

The special session would need to be held before the end of the year. Kearns points out that the legislation passed unanimously in both chambers.