Legislative Committee Releases Findings On BSDC Problems

A state legislative committee issued a vote of “no confidence” in the leadership of the Beatrice State Developmental Center Monday.

And now they're calling for major changes to be made.  The Nebraska State Legislature formed a committee to come up with a stragedy to fix the many problems at BSDC, and they say if it isn't taken seriously the center will fail. The Beatrice State Developmental Center has been in the public eye recently to say the least.

Hundreds of alleged abuse and neglect cases were among the reported problems that could lose the center their 29 million dollars in federal funding.

Now, a committee of state legislators is saying the states head officials overseeing the program, including the CEO of the Nebraska department of Health and Human Services Chris Peterson, are at least partially to blame, and need to be replaced.

Last year, the center for medicare and medicaid decertified BSDC, putting millions of dollars in federal funding in jeopardy; BSDC is now appealing this action. Senator Steve Lathrop says when they come back for recertification, the center will be looked at with a critical eye

Other recommendations by lawmakers included reducing the number of residents at BSDC from 308 to 200 by 2009…but still 250 remain at the center. The remaining patients will be placed into community based programs around the state. Also senators suggested developing a stragegy on the waiting list problem.

Joan O'Mera's daughter Cindy has been at the center for nearly 40 years and said she can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Governor Dave Heineman also released a statement Monday on the legislative report stating, he shares their commitment to keep BSDC open and said he will provide additional funding to the investigation unit at the center so more periodic inspections can take place.