A pair of Southwest Virginia lawmakers haven’t given up hope on the fight to keep the Southwestern Virginia Training Center open in Hillsville.
Virginia House of Delegate members Jeff Campbell (Republican, 6th District) and Israel O’Quinn (Republican, 5th District) both have introduced bills before the 2017 General Assembly that would allow the Southwestern Virginia Training Center to remain open.
Virginia reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in August of 2012 to close four of the state’s five training centers, including the Hillsville facility, to move residents to other smaller homes or facilities. Under the agreement, the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville is scheduled to be closed by June 30, 2018.
Delegate Campbell’s House Bill 1583 was offered Jan. 11 and is aimed at delaying closure of the Southwestern Virginia Training Center until June 30, 2019, and to allow the facility to accept new admissions of individuals with intellectual disabilities for whom treatment in a training center is appropriate.
Delegate O’Quinn’s House Bill 1972 was offered Jan. 11 and seeks to prohibit the closing of both the Southwestern Virginia Training Center and the Southeastern Virginia Training Center. O’Quinn’s bill states, “That, notwithstanding any plan for the closure of training centers developed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Southwestern Virginia Training Center and the Southeastern Virginia Training Center shall not be subjected to closure and shall remain open and continue to accept new admissions of individuals with intellectual disability for whom treatment in a training center is appropriate.
Carroll County Board of Supervisors member Dr. Tom Littrell said the two delegates are also crafting a budget amendment to continue to fund the Southwestern Virginia Training Center.
“It would be most helpful for those citizens interested in keeping the Training Center open to contact members of the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee by letter, email or phone call expressing support for the continued funding of SWVTC,” Littrell said.
That list is as follows:
S. Chris Jones (Chairman) at (804) 698-1076 or (757) 483-6242 or DelCJones@house.virginia.gov
R. Steven Landes at (804) 698-1025 or (540) 255-5335 or DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov
Riley E. Ingram at (804) 698-1062 or (804) 452-2202 or DelRIngram@house.virginia.gov
M. Kirkland Cox at (804) 698-1066 or (804) 526-5135 or DelKCox@house.virginia.gov
John M. O’Bannon III at (804) 698-1073 or (804) 282-8640 or DelJOBannon@house.virginia.gov
L. Scott Lingamfelter at (804) 698-1031 or (703) 580-1294 or DelSLingamfelter@house.virginia.gov
Charles D. Poindexter at (804) 698-1009 or (540) 576-2600 or DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov
James P. (Jimmie) Massie III at (804) 698-1072 or (804) 377-0100 or DelJMassie@house.virginia.gov
Christopher K. Peace at (804) 698-1097 or (804) 730-3737 or DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov
Thomas A. (Tag) Greason at (804) 698-1032 or (703) 203-3203 or DelTGreason@house.virginia.gov
Barry D. Knight at (804) 698-1081 or (757) 426-6387 or DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
Richard L. Anderson at (804) 698-1051 or (571) 264-9983 or DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov
T. Scott Garrett at (804) 698-1023 or (434) 455-0243 or DelSGarrett@house.virginia.gov
Christopher P. Stolle at (804) 698-1083 or (757) 633-2080 or DelCStolle@house.virginia.gov
L. Nick Rush at (804) 698-1007 or (540) 382-7731 or DelNRush@house.virginia.gov
Luke E. Torian at (804) 698-1052 or (703) 785-2224 or DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
Daun Sessoms Hester at (804) 698-1089 or (757) 625-8989 or DelDHester@house.virginia.gov
Mark D. Sickles at (804) 698-1043 or (703) 922-6440 or DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
Matthew James at (804) 698-1080 or (757) 967-7583 or DelMJames@house.virginia.gov
Betsy B. Carr at (804) 698-1069 or DelBCarr@house.virginia.gov
Delores L. McQuinn at (804) 698-1070 or DelDMcQuinn@house.virginia.gov
Lashrecse D. Aird at (804) 698-1063 or (804) 452-7076 or DelLAird@house.virginia.gov
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN