Protecting Pa.’s most vulnerable

Judi Ferrara with son Michael, who was assaulted in a group home in Delaware County in 2008.

The state Legislature is finally addressing a major problem that you’ve probably never heard of.

Pennsylvania is one of only five states in the country without an adult-protective-services system. That means men and women with serious mental disabilities who are unable to stick up for themselves are being abused and neglected and, too often, nobody is doing anything about it.

Yesterday, lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Rendell that would correct that problem. Read today’s story about the proposed law and our cover story last year about this issue and Delaware County’s Judi Ferrara, who has been advocating for this type of legislation.

Now the state will still have to allocate an estimated $6 million a year to run the system, which would work like the protection systems for children and the elderly. Where can we find $6 million?

Hmmm … wait, I just had an amazing idea! Why don’t we start using tax dollars to protect Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens instead of financing pet projects like that luxury hotel/spa and golf course in Chester County? I’m sure Center City developer and Rendell campaign donor Albert M. Greenfield "needs" $20 million, but I can think of a few other people who need some help right now.

And they’re not teeing up at Valhalla Brandywine.