Governor Andrew Cuomo is giving a more insight into his sudden decision to keep the Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca. He released a statement on Wednesday.
According to Gov. Cuomo, the decision follows “extensive community input”.
In November, Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill, which has passed unanimously in both the Assembly and Senate, to keep the facility in West Seneca.
The Governor’s change of heart was a surprise to State Sen. Rob Ortt, who is the chair of the mental health and developmental disabilities committee.
“During my conversations with the mental health commissioner during the budget, I did not get the sense that anything was coming down or that there was going to be a change,” said Ortt. “I don’t know what prompted it but clearly it’s a great day for children’s mental health.”
He told News 4 normal operating costs for the West Seneca facility were included in the budget this year.
Governor Cuomo released a statement saying, “The Western New York community has consistently spoken with one voice and we are listening. The new plan for the Children’s Psychiatric Center will ensure the same level of care for Western New York families while addressing the concerns of the community. We have made great progress in ensuring access to vital mental health services for all New Yorkers, and this plan will uphold our commitment to the children and families of this state. I am grateful for the input and engagement from the community and will continue to work with them to ensure the highest quality of care for our children.”
He said in the press release that the state will continue with the renovations underway at the adult facility and will “repurpose the space for future use.”