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Arc Of Indiana Continues Valentines Statehouse Tradition

Last updated on Friday, February 13, 2009

(STATEHOUSE) - At the time of year when various special interests descend on the Statehouse to lobby, one group has made its way to the capitol to say thank you.

Arc of Indiana, which works with the developmentally disabled, brings about 100 people to the Statehouse each February, bearing candy and valentines for the governor and legislators.

Executive Director John Dickerson says Governor Daniels and lawmakers deserve thanks for continuing Indiana's move away from large state institutions in favor of smaller community-based group homes for the developmentally disabled, a process begun by Gov. Frank O'Bannon. Daniels closed the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center in 2007, making Indiana the largest state with no state institutions for the developmentally disabled.

Dickerson says the "Fill Your Heart With Respect" visit has become an Arc tradition. 10 chapters from around the state made the trip this year.

The group is backing one bill this session, to set aside $4.3-million dollars to continue the state's adult guardianship program for people with disabilities.

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