Buckingham advocates for Abilene State Supported Living Center


ABILENE,TX - The Abilene State Supported Living Center's future is at risk under Texas Senate Bill 602, but one legislator is working to keep things running.

The bill would create a commission of people appointed by the governor to evaluate and potentially reconstruct, downsize or close SSLC's across the state.

State Sen. Dawn Buckingham of District 24 said this bill poses a risk to one of the most important parts of her district.

Abilene's SSLC has been around since the 1890s and currently cares for 288 developmentally challenged residents.

"A lot of them can't even speak, much less speak for themselves, so we want to be sure that we are watching out for their best interests," Buckingham said.

The bill was created because of a steep decline in residents living in the facilities. In 2013, the Abilene SSLC had 398 residents.

Buckingham argues the facility is important to Abilene because it's an economic driver in the area, employing more than 1,200 people.

"We've heard loud and clear from the community how important the state supported living center is," Buckingham said. "I've actually visited it and do think it's one of the very best in the state, and [I'll] continue to make sure everybody knows that."

The bill is currently pending in committee.