Statement from Reps. Richard DeBolt and Gary Alexander on final recommendations to close Maple Lane School

Statement from Rep. Richard DeBolt

“The final feasibility report issued by the consultant, reiterated what we have said all along. The facts simply don't support closing either Maple Lane or Green Hill schools. Unfortunately the consultants were given very narrow parameters in which to find savings in the juvenile rehabilitation system.

“The question still left unanswered, is why the majority party disregarded a study that was conducted just four years ago, which recommended closing a facility in Naselle as the most practical alternative. Unfortunately, this issue has been politicized, and this recent study could not even consider that option or any other viable alternatives.

“The contractor's report is very clear, it states: 'Overall, the facts do not support closure of either facility. It is our conclusion that the data do not support closing either Green Hill or Maple Lane.'

“We need to take politics out of the decision-making process. The Legislature has an obligation to treat troubled juveniles and protect public safety. We need to look at all available options and select the one that is in the best interest of taxpayers.”

Statement from Rep. Gary Alexander

“It's encouraging to see that an independent report clearly states what many of us have been saying from day one: closing Maple Lane or Green Hill is not a feasible option and will not result in the fiscal savings needed.

“I continue to strongly believe that we can find savings within the juvenile justice system without closing any facilities. I stand ready to work with my counterparts across the aisle to arrive at solutions to our budget shortfall without compromising the safety of our citizens, the oversight of juvenile offenders, or eliminating facilities altogether.

“Unfortunately, it seems politics continues to play a role in this decision to the detriment of our juvenile justice system, the workers employed and the communities involved.”

For more information contact: Lisa Fenton, Communications Director: (360) 786-7728

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov