Public call-in discussion on HB68-Life Resource Center set for Wednesday evening, Jan. 16

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – A public call-in discussion has been set by Governor Matt Mead on legislation that could impact the future of the Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander (formerly known at the Wyoming State Training School). St. Sen. Cale Case of Lander reported Monday that the call-in will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday  from the Governor’s Conference Room.

St. Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander

St. Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander

The call-in was scheduled in lieu of the Wyoming Department of Health contacting families and guardians of current residents at the WLRC by letter advising them of potential changes at the Lander institution through the Labor Committee bill, something the Health Department was unwilling to do, the Senator said. Case, however, said the Health Department did advise guardians and families by telephone on Monday about Wednesday’s call-in opportunity after he asked the Governor to intercede in the matter.

The unamended bill calls for a study on how to transition residents of the WLRC away from the institution and into community-based programs. The WLRC is Lander’s largest single employer.

The call-in comes after the Wyoming State Legislature on Monday approved the unamended bill on second reading. Last Friday, legislators rejected an amendment added to the bill by the Labor Committee that would expand the nature of the study and make it less biased agains the center, supporters said. Former St. Rep. Del McOmie of Lander, who has been helping the Friends of the Wyoming Life Resource Center and Sen. Case from the sidelines this year, said if the effort fails in the house, the amendment could be added in the Senate.

The Friends organization, a Lingle, Wyo. based non-profit organization supporting the intellectually and physically disabled, staff and familes involved with the WLRC, is seeking an amemdment that would make proposed study “more fair.” Failing that, the Friends said they would urge legislators to kill the bill. Case said it was his opinion that the Health Department, the agency with oversight over the WLRC, opposed the amendment.

The proposed amendment reads as follows:

“(viii)  An investigation of other services that may be effectively provided by the Wyoming Life Resource Center to citizens of Wyoming in a manner which strengthens the delivery system to persons with developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries or other conditions requiring services;

(ix)  Identification of ways in which the Wyoming Life Resource Center can support the efforts of community programs, including but not limited to:

(A)  Wheelchairs, adaptive equipment and supportive orthotics;

(B)  Health consultations; or

(C)  Temporary residential services.”

The call-in number for Wednesday’s public discussion on the bill is 1-877-278-8686.  The participant passcode to join the conference call is 654010.

For previous stories from County10.com on the WLRC bill and budget, click on the dates below:

November 28, 2012

January 7, 2013

January 11, 2013