Gresko Fights Ella Grasso Center Closing

March 24, 2016

Representatives Joe Gresko, Laura Hoydick and Ben McGorty and Senator Kevin Kelly today voiced their collective opposition to the plan announced by the state’s Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Morna Murray to close the residential operations at Ella Grasso Regional Center (EGRC).

The center, which serves clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, would be required to send those residing there to one of the three remaining state-run facilities in Norwalk, Newington or Torrington.

"Both EGRC workers and families served voiced their concerns during my campaign and although workers will keep their jobs, the population they serve does not adapt to change well," Gresko said. "These devoted workers serve their clients and their families admirably, so I hope this decision can be rethought."

In her memorandum issued today, the commissioner cited the need to “adjust to the new economic reality” as the numbers of those eligible for services climbs each year. The administration will be closing all residential operations at the Stratford location, as well as the Meriden Regional Center, by June 30. The commissioner stated that permanent employees of DDS working at those facilities will be redeployed “in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement.”

Cutting the services to this population, who are among the most vulnerable in the state, is an unacceptable failure of priorities, the legislators said. According to the DDS, there is a waiting list of more than 2,000 people in the state requesting these services.