A federal judge has ruled that the state of Illinois has the authority to close a southern Illinois center for people with developmental disabilities.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen's 55-page ruling is a setback for parents of children served by the Warren Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. The parents sought a preliminary injunction to block the closure of the center serving 250 residents. But Aspen concluded the plaintiffs didn't prove they would suffer irreparable harm by the closure.
The Murray Parents Association President Rita Winkler says she is disappointed in the judge's ruling.
Winkler says at least the judge is requiring the state of Illinois to provide the parents with options on where to transfer their children. She says that includes a large bed nursing facility and 16-bed homes.
Winkler says the parents association's lawyers are currently looking into appealing the judge's ruling.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services says the ruling will help the state move from an ``outdated system'' of caring for the developmentally disabled.