Senator Ben Nelson is so upset that federal regulators are refusing to testify before a state committee regarding funding for the Beatrice State Developmental Center that he sent a letter stating his frustration.
“Because they need to realize how a challenging issue this is for the state. It is unacceptable for them to come out, threaten to take away money. Bash the state in their reports and then not come and testify before the legislature which is trying to get to the bottom of it to fix it. It’s just unacceptable but typical Washington and I’m letting them know this isn’t acceptable.”
The possible funding cut comes as an investigation by the feds uncovered several hundred cases of alleged abuse and neglect at the facility. The Center is taking steps now to meet the needs of the patients as well as stay within funding. Many residents will be moved to community based programs which Senator Nelson supports if they are getting the care and supervision they need.
“Just because the Beatrice Home isn’t functioning at the level that you would like to see it function and it gets criticized is no reason to move everybody out of it. You have to be very cautious and careful to make sure it is the right kind of care the patient needs rather than, perhaps just, trying to think of a word here, impatience with the system.”
Apparently federal regulators did respond to testify before a state committee because Nebraska is appealing the withholding of funds. They did say they would respond in writing. Senator Nelson said that isn’t enough.
“This extended period of correspondence could go on for a long period of time and that just isn’t acceptable. If they can do it in writing, they can do it in person. This is just bureaucratic red tape, it is Washington style and I’m not going to settle for it.”