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Governor Daniels Solicits Legion Recommendations On Children's Home

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Legion Department of Indiana has been asked by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to assist in developing possible alternatives to closing the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home at Knightstown.

The request came during a private meeting between the governor and the Legion's Chief Administrative Officer, Adjutant Steve Short, following a statehouse rally January 26.

According to Short, Governor Daniels asked The American Legion to come up with alternatives to closing the home, including recommendations for improving the cost efficiency of the home.

"We look forward to presenting our ideas to the governor. It has always been our intent to see the home's operating budget be returned to the coming biennial state budget to allow for a proper study and development of recommendations. Our resolution on that issue is clear. But I need to make it clear that no matter what recommendation or what findings we make, the State of Indiana can not delegate to us or to any other entity its responsibility for those kids or the home.

"We can help. We can give them ideas. But ultimately, the responsibility is theirs. The American Legion will continue to press for the government to meet that responsibility."

The state-house rally, attended by more that 500 supporters of the Home, was sponsored by the home's Alumni Association. Short's invitation to meet with the governor followed his remarks to those attending the rally.

"The governor was really very cordial," said Short, adding that the governor assured him that he "'had nothing against children.'

"We certainly don't think he does" said Short. "As a matter of fact, we all agree that during this time of limited resources, we have a responsibility to provide the best care and education to as many young people as possible. We just don't think the decision to close the home was made for the right reason, or with all the facts in hand.

"I believe the governor has been badly served by the Indiana Department of Health," which made the recommendation to close the home without an in-depth study, Short said.

Short, along with several other representatives of the Legion, met with the State Commission of Health, Judith Monroe, M.D., on January 23. During the meeting, he said, it became clear that the agency was unaware of many factors affecting the operation of the home.

    CONTACT: Stephen W. Short
    cell: 317.442.1713
    office: 317.630.1266

    Hugh Dagley
    cell: 317.403.6266
    office: 317.630.1391

SOURCE American Legion
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