- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Helena lawmaker has introduced a bill proposing the closure of the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder and transferring its developmentally disabled clients to community-based settings.

Democrat Sen. Mary Caferro argued Monday that recent assaults, sexual assaults and rapes bring into question the safety of clients. She argues the residents of MDC can be better served, and at less cost, in community-based care facilities.

Supporters of the bill criticized MDC’s ability to treat and keep clients safe. Parents of several clients testified their children were mistreated at the center.

Opponents said the center’s services are needed, while union officials representing employees argue there is no other place in the state that specializes in the care needed for MDC residents, who may also have serious mental illnesses.

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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