Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2011

SRS officials say Brownback administration won’t close neurological institute — this year

September 8, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration said Thursday it was abandoning its efforts, at least for now, to shut down the Kansas Neurological Institute.

The issue came up in a brief exchange during a meeting of the House-Senate Committee on State Building Construction.

SRS officials came before the committee to discuss the agency’s capital improvement plan and answer questions about the recent closings of several agency offices.

Rep. Bob Grant, D-Cherokee, asked what happened to Brownback’s proposal to close KNI, a state hospital for people with profound disabilities.

During the last legislative session, Brownback had sought to shut down the facility as one of many cost-cutting moves in the face of what was then an estimated $500 million state budget gap. A bi-partisan group of legislators, however, rejected the proposal.

“The Legislature has spoken on that issue,” said Gary Haulmark, director of legislative affairs for SRS. He said that in conversations with the governor’s office, Brownback’s staff indicated no effort would be made this year on that front.

Grant said, “I just wanted to see if our voice was heard.” Haulmark answered, “It was.”

KNI, which is in Topeka, has about 155 residents.

Some disability rights groups have argued that moving residents to more community-based group homes would improve their quality of life, and that shutting down the facility would free up funds for other people with disabilities who are on waiting lists.

But supporters of KNI say the residents couldn’t get the same quality of care in community-based groups that they now receive.


sad_lawrencian 6 years, 8 months ago

If they can save money by closing it, and if the residents can receive better care elsewhere, then by all means close it.

Bob Forer 6 years, 8 months ago

Most of the folks at KNI are profoundly developmentally disabled, and it would be very difficult to duplicate the services for the same or lower cost outside of an institution. The so-called 'disability advocates' touting such a move are a bunch of charlatans.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 8 months ago

Both of what you say are very INCORRECT.

Alceste 6 years, 8 months ago

Who "trusts" a Used Car Salesman">????

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I know someone that unknowingly made that unfortunate mistake, she had been advised to buy a car with "low miles".

Yes indeed, they had just the for her! It had only 12,000 miles, although it was 5 years old.

The used car salesperson neglected to point out a few things. First, the car had been in a pretty bad accident, and it still needed $700 worth of body work to finish the repairs. That was the CarStar estimate. The cosmetic efforts at the repairs had been done without any record of it showing up on CarFax.

And, they didn't even give her the remote unlock control that was supposed to come with the car.

It was to late to cancel the sale, the only thing I could do for her was to go to the dealer and raise holy hell about the coming lawsuit if they didn't produce the remote unlock for her. I was successful in doing that, but that was all I could do, because the sale was complete and the papers had been signed.

Besides, the salesperson had already been given her very hefty commission, and I'm sure she got a lot of congratulations for making such a profitable sale on that piece of junk that they thought would never sell!

That's not all, there were a couple more things. For only $2,000 or $3,000 more, she could have bought a brand new car of the same model instead of a 5 year old wrecked one with low miles.

I helped her get the car registered. I drove the car to the courthouse with her, and it was my opinion that for perhaps $7,500, it would not be a bad purchase. I almost fell flat on the floor of the courthouse when I looked at the papers and saw that the "total of payments" was over $22,000.

The car salesperson didn't explain to her what it really meant to pay $16,000 for a car at an interest rate of 29.9% on a 5 year note.

The bottom line is, if you don't know what you're doing, get someone to help you. My friend had plenty of people to help her, but wanting a sense of independence, she went to the dealer alone.

And, since that car came up with a perfect CarFax report, don't ever trust CarFax very much, because they only know what has been reported to them by the insurance companies!

One more thing: Thank you, Jack Ellena Honda of Lawrence, it was not a pleasure doing business with you.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

But, Jack Ellena Honda may be different today. That all happened a bit over 4 years ago, and as of about 6 months ago, my friend still owed about $5,000 on the car.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

It is not slander when it is true:


Noun: The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.

Verb: Make false and damaging statements about (someone).

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

I had to walk off of Jack Ellena Honda's lot for almost the same thing. There was no doubt I was being lied to about the car I was looking at.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I had a cousin that was profoundly mentally disabled. I only met him once, when he was six months old.

Of course, I didn't know anything was going wrong for my new cousin, he was lots of fun to (very carefully!) play with as a six month old infant. He smiled and laughed a lot. Actually, that's just about all of what I remember of him. That was many years ago, and I think I was in junior high myself.

Many years later, my mother told me that her sister (his mother) had privately told her at that time that the doctors had told her that there might be something wrong with him. But to an ordinary person, he appeared to be just like any other six month old.

It wasn't really all that much longer that the devastating news that no parent can face became obvious. He couldn't do the basics.

Like crawl before he was 3.

And he still couldn't feed himself at the age of 20.

Fortunately, his parents live very near an excellent facility in a state that is far away, and as I understand it, it is a research type of setting, where interns spend a great deal of time working with the profoundly retarded in order to make their lives better.

One student took on a project, and it was based upon and only for my cousin. He observed the body movements that he was able to make and control. Then he came up with an invention.

The student's invention was for a spoon. Using that spoon, my cousin was then able to feed himself pretty much without assistance. However, that spoon is of no use to anyone else, it was a very oddly shaped one, and was specifically designed for only one person in the world.

In his 20s, my cousin was able to walk down a hallway. And, he could walk either up or down a staircase. But the problem was, he could not handle the transition from a hallway to stairs. So, every time that transition was necessary, he needed quite a lot of assistance.

I never heard very much about him, for the simple fact that there was not much to tell. But, the nurses always did have something positive to say, they pointed out that he had such beautiful hair.

He died at the age of 26.

I would hate to think that persons with the disabilities that my cousin had are not cared for with the dignity that every human being should be given.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, none2 and vertigo.

I like to think of my cousin and people like him as being placed here for a reason.

And that is, they are placed here as a challenge for us.

oldbaldguy 6 years, 8 months ago

If KNI closes it will cost more to care for these folks in the community. Which probably means it will not happen if KNI is closed with the administration we have now or the one before. there will be no funding. One of my children is profoundly delayed. We cannot watch him all day. He goes to Cottonwood every weekday and loves it. KNI serves a purpose. There some things the state has to do. Personal responsibility is important but it is too easy to say "the family is responsible. In the old days these kids died early or were sent off to the state hospital. Community placement only works when you have support and funds.

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