Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is calling on legislative leaders in Albany to schedule a vote to override Governor Cuomo’s veto of legislation, (S4630,A6505) which would require the New York State Office of Mental Health to operate the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca as a separate entity. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Gallivan and Assemblyman Kearns, would prevent the state from moving ahead with plans to merge the facility with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. Both the Senate and Assembly approved it unanimously.
“I am terribly disappointed that the Governor and the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health have ignored the Legislature and the will of the people of Western New York,” Gallivan said. “The Governor and the Commissioner have essentially said that our children deserve less than the best. I will be asking legislative leadership and my colleagues to consider overriding this shameful veto.”
Senator Gallivan sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, formally asking him to schedule an override vote. (See attachment) The letter is co-signed by Senators Robert Ortt, Catharine Young, Michael Ranzenhofer, Christopher Jacobs and Pamela Helming.
Senator Gallivan and Assembly Kearns collected over 16,000 signatures from residents who support keeping the center at its current location. The legislation and the petitions were delivered to the governor’s office last week.
Former patients, family members of patients, workers and academics argue the tranquil environment provided at the West Seneca campus is important for the children who are undergoing significant mental trauma and the families desperately trying to protect these children from danger.