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Today’s quote

Friday, Apr 26, 2013

* Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) on Gov. Pat Quinn’s announced closure of the Murray Developmental Center

Bost said the Legislature has put money in the budget for the center, but Gov. Pat Quinn still refuses to keep the Murray Center open.

“The Governor has never visited the center,” Bost said. “We are still trying to do everything we can procedurally to keep it open. These are our most vulnerable citizens. It’s awful what is happening.”

“The Governor is a politician and fake,” Bost continued. “I appreciate him showing up at veterans funerals. It’s easy to show care and compassion in a situation you have no control over. In this case, he has the control. It flies in the face of sincerity on other issues.

“If he is so compassionate, why doesn’t he just walk in the facility? If he had been there first, he may have understood the need. It’s heartbreaking.”

Fair or not?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chitownhv - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    Unfair. These patients are not being left out in the street. They are still receiving quality care. I have a very good friend who is an active advocate for the disabled who supports the closing of Murray. According to her, the Murray model is not a “best practice”. In fact, there are 14 states without a SODC. There are over 250 community based agencies in Illinois that can provide care at the same level but at a much lower cost, approximately $38k compared to $192K per year.

  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 9:45 am:

    I think governors should regularly travel all over the state and visit every state facility they can to see what’s going on. I would also include nursing homes and other service providers that are heavily funded by the state.

    That’s a big part of being the executive.

  3. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 9:51 am:

    I agree with Wordslinger.

  4. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    Not fair. When it’s about spending elsewhere, especially in Chicago, Mike Bost flies off into one of his trademark temper tantrums.

    Also priceless Bost hitting Quinn for being, oh no, a POLITICIAN! What do you even say to a career politician who can’t come up with a better attack than that?

    Mike Bost is a hypocrite and an embarrassment to Illinois.

  5. - Aldyth - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    It’s a fair criticism of the governor. It doesn’t mean that the decision to close state operated facilities is wrong.

    One of the reasons Illinois has financial problems is because of trying to run a dual system of state facilities and community-based programs. Even in good years, there’s never been enough money put into both to run them well.

    A community placement costs taxpayers half of what it costs for a placement in a state operated developmental center. It’s tough to justify in these times when the state is broke and not paying its bills.

  6. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    =That’s a big part of being the executive.=

    So is paying your bills for the services provided.

  7. - Fair Share - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    I think what’s is fair is for any legisltor that stands in opposition to a specific cut impacting their district to propose an alternative cut equal to or greater than the cut proposed. That is after all their job - to allocate scarce resources.

  8. - nieva - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    Maybe a little harsh but sometimes the truth is.

  9. - giveandtake - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    The real comparison of costs is at least $100,000 versus $142,000. Even the State says the current cost in the private facilities is $55,000 and that average is NOT for those with the very complex disabilities served by Murray.

  10. - Secret Square - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:06 am:

    “I think governors should regularly travel all over the state and visit every state facility they can to see what’s going on.”

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Henry Horner did that back in the 1930s — often without any advance notice or publicity. Did any other governors do this?

  11. - Aldyth - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    Give and Take,

    We’ve been accepting people from state operated developmental centers for decades, including this one, and serving them on that $55,000 a year. The agencies out there are doing it, in spite of all of the massive cuts we’ve been hit with. It’s at a bare bones level, now, but it’s being done.

  12. - Dan Bureaucrat - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:12 am:

    He would be going off on Quinn whether he visited or not.

    And, there are many people testifying about their improved lives being out of these institutions. Has Bost visited them?

  13. - BleugrassBoy - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    No doubt there are those whose interest in keeping the facilities open is to just as a jobs program for the community. But that is not my concern at all. I am against big government and paying everybody’s bills - but care for the neediest in our society is fundamentally more a function of government than regulating firearms or approving of gay marriage.

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach for special needs care. Some residents can benefit from group home models but many cannot and will not. Closing Lincoln and now Jacksonville and Murray and forcing all those folks out is a dereliction of duty by the State.

    There’s no way Quinn will visit any of those facilities and take a chance on coming face to face with the results of his non-leadership. Easier to just to read executive summaries and go with a committee’s recommendation.

  14. - Yossarian Lives - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    Partially fair and partially unfair.

    Fair because yes, traveling the state and visiting the facilities is a big part of being governor, and Gov. Quinn doesn’t leave Cook County nearly as much as he should. And I do think it’s the decent thing to do to visit the people whose lives will be most drastically affected by a major decision such as closing a facility. (And by that I mean the employees as well as the residents.)

    Unfair because if Gov. Quinn had visited and had gone ahead with the closure, Rep. Bost would still be screaming at him. In fact, he’d be calling him insensitive and lacking in compassion for coming to see the residents and learning about their difficulties and not changing his mind.

  15. - Sir Reel - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    The criticisms aren’t fair but I agree with Word and others that the Governor should see State facilities and projects more.

    I agreed that the Governor’s inspection of flooding was warranted. Unfortunately it seems to take a disaster or crisis to get the Governor out unless it’s a manufactured event. Routine visits would help the Governor know what’s going on, especially since there’s no longer anything resembling cabinet meetings.

  16. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Whether or not Quinn needs to visit every facility before making decisions is irrelevant to the point. If Bost truly cared about these people, he’d admit that a large percentage of them could lead fuller, richer lives with the personal freedom afforded by community care.

    However, since Bost really only cares about the jobs and state dollars brought into his district, he’s happy to keep those folks in a warehouse where every minute of their lives is controlled by someone else.

    Some people will still need institutional care, and they’ll continue to receive it. But to those that will get to move out and become part of a community, this decision is a godsend, and the Governor deserves credit for taking on the status quo and truly improving their lives.

  17. - reformer - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    Once again, a downstate Republican legislator is a deficit hawk — except when it comes to his district. He’ll vote against every tax hike to pay for state facilities, rail against the bloated budget, blame the Democrats for spending beyond revenues, but then have a tantrum when one of his facilities gets closed. In short, they want it both ways.

  18. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    Bost is the typical hack, preaching “cut, cut, cut” till the cuts come home. Then he’s yelling and screaming about the pain those cuts cause back home. But raise a tax on the rich, close a corporate loophole, expand the sales tax to mirror a modern economy? No! That’s big government overreach.

    I wonder if he can understand the most rudimentary math.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    Can’t be an efffective governor and be “just in Chicago”, “Just in the Office” or “Just in Springfield.”

    It’s a big state, and Springfield is NOT downstate. I do not mind my governor traveling, on the state plane, hitting all corners. I do mind the state plane being a “communter plane” making every single county between Sangamon and Cook …flyover counties.

  20. - reformer - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    “These are our most vulnerable citizens. It’s awful what’s happening…It’s heartbreaking.”

    It’s good to hear a Republican expressing such concern for the poor. As opposed to scapegoating them for our budget problems with their harsh rhetoric about undocumented immigrants and welfare cheats.

    When the next round of cuts for Medicaid comes up for “the most vulnerable citizens,” I look forward to Rep. Bost voting No to demonstrate the compassion he claims the governor lacks. I won’t hold my breath.

  21. - Mugwump - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    Back in the old days, there was a legislative Commission to Visit and Examine State Institutions. That was reformed out of existence, in the 1980’s I think.

  22. - Ahoy! - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    I’m not sure and there area lot of people out there who are more intelligent than I regarding how to best treat and care these folks. As long as this is done to provide quality care with more efficiency i think it’s fair.

    Boost is also “a politician and fake,” while he’s good for a Youtube video, he’s not useful in any other way and that includes solving problems.

  23. - Phenomynous - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    If there is anybody that state government should be helping or assisting it should be the people that truly need it. I’ve watched as this state has expanded Medicaid, increased SNAP benefits, cut property taxes (PTELL), increased school funding (particularly PTELL districts), increased public transportation, increased union contracts, shortchanged pensions, given tax breaks and giveaways to corporations and citizens to the point where both are paying zero or less in income taxes. And now, after all this tinkering, we are screwing the most vulnerable population in the state because we can’t pay our bills.

    We have funded these state institutions for decades and now they are being pushed out because politicians could get more votes for decreasing property taxes or making sure all kids have health insurance. It’s sickening. If there is a group of people that should be taken care of, even if it isn’t “cost effective” it should be the mentally disabled…and the State should do it in state facilities, with state unionized workers. They are the best if I recall correctly, and these people deserve the best.

    My heart breaks to think of the family or the person at Murray or JDC and realize that these people are being moved out of their stable environment into some place strange and new because the state can’t afford them anymore. Shame on Illinois…All of it.

  24. - JoeVerdeal - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    I normally agree with Rep. Bost and would vote for him, if his name appeared on my local ballot in S.E. Illinois.

    In this case, however, I believe that Rep. Bost’s words are not fair and are not appropriate. Governor Quinn is faced with the need to make cuts somewhere. Unless Rep. Bost wants us to pay higher taxes, he should allow Quinn to use his judgment with regard to this matter.

    If Bost seeks an accommodation on behalf of his district, he should approach Quinn privately and seek cooperation. Calling him a “fake” is not going to help anyone.

    Illinois is going to need to make many cuts in services, unless some economic miracle takes place. The sooner that we accept this reality, the better.

  25. - zatoichi - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Chitownhv, where does your $38K come from? You do realize to hit those numbers a provider must have at least 8 people to a home, pay staff about $9, no health insurance, and no retirement plan. Many of those people in Murray are in wheelchairs and need 24 hour medical care. That means from day 1, nursing care, 100% ADA accessible, sprinkled homes that start (build or remodel) at around $450,000, minimum two or more staff on duty every shift, food, medications, multiple physician visits, and modified vehicles for transport. At $9 an hour how many trained staff do you think you have and at what turn over rate per year? More complex the disability and the smaller the facility, the higher the cost per person. There are people in Murray who will cost well over $300,000 a year each.

  26. - from the 618 - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    Let me ask you this, if you owned a business that was turning a large profit every year, would you close it? If so, you went to business school with Pat Quinn. Murray is a money maker for the state. Mix in the fact that so many of the residents are creatures of the habits they have had for more than three decades at Murray and the choice is obvious. This facility should remain open. This was a political move by Quinn. Nothing more, nothing less and if you cannot see that, you have the same optometrist as Stevie Wonder.

  27. - Transplant - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    @STL - Have you ever been to the Murray Center? I would never describe it as a warehouse. The residents are involved in the community and the community is involved in Murray. You meet residents at the local stores, movie theaters fairs and parades.
    The community participates in Christmas programs, bike rallys and special events at the center.
    While a number of residents could easily transition into community care, and regularly do, a number likely cannot.
    There are individuals who are not and never have been mobile, with IQs of infants and who require 24-hour medical care for feeding tubes, seizure problems, psychiatric disorders, PICA, violent outbursts against themselves and others. One individual is 6′ 9″. He has the intellect of a 2-yo and has pulled sinks out of walls, toilets out of floors and physically could overpower most individual men.

  28. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    - Murray is a money maker for the state. -

    Because when it comes to people with disabilities, that’s what really matters. Pathetic.

    Go visit the folks that are thrilled to be out of JDC, then tell me we should send them back because it makes financial sense. If anyone should be ashamed it’s people like you.

  29. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    - you have the same optometrist as Stevie Wonder. -

    Also, real classy to make a joke about a disability in a post about people with disabilities.

  30. - Anonymour - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    Unfair, except for the part about Gov. Quinn being a politician and fake.

  31. - Transplant - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    I could care less about the political dramatics of Mike Bost or Pat Quinn. And to politicize the lives of the individuals in these homes is a shameful as making it about money.

  32. - from the 618 - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    You’re missing my point. It was Pat Quinn, and not me, who made this about money when he decided to close these centers. Look at the posts on this thread, even some of those in agreement with Quinn say “he had to cut money from somewhere”. So, if that is a reason why these facilities are closing, then why do you close one which makes money?
    Again, those of the words of our esteemed governor, not me.

  33. - soccermom - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    STL is right. So is Word. The Governor is doing the right thing, for the State and for the residents of these substandard facilities. He could underscore his commitment to doing the best for everyone in Illinois by making some unscheduled visits to state facilities.

  34. - Palos Park Bob - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    I’ve spoken at forums sponsored by people associated with Murray, and they are politically determined and motivated, and generally are staunch Dems. This will likely be another group of Lisa Madigan supporters in the upcoming.

  35. - Ghost - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Would prior governors touring federal facilities count?

    Word lets be honest, if Quinn did that much visiting he would be accused of using state resources for campaigning; or not being in his office to address real problems. It is the mafia of “real” problems that whatever the gov does, he is not working on the real problem.

  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    Ghost, you can’t be paralyzed by criticism — you’ll get it no matter what. Getting around and seeing what’s going on is an important part of the job.

    Our last governor said a lot of stupid and ignorant things, but I found his expressed pride in never having visited a state park revolting.

  37. - giveandtake - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Even Kevin Casey (head of DD at DHS) has stated in a news column at the average cost for former Murray residents will be $100,000.

    This was sold as a cost savings. It is not.

    What happened to individual decisions for individual people? Community placement where it is best (and doesn’t cost $300,000 a person because of intense medical needs)and Murray where complex needs can be met at a reasonable cost.

  38. - MrJM - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    You lost me at “Mike Bost”.

    – MrJM

  39. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    - Community placement where it is best (and doesn’t cost $300,000 a person because of intense medical needs)and Murray where complex needs can be met at a reasonable cost. -

    That’s exactly what is going on. Right now the state relies too heavily on institutional care, these closings are changing the balance. I believe there will still be 6 of these facilities spread throughout the state once Murray is closed.

  40. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Even at $100K per year, Community care is cheaper than Murray.

  41. - just thinking... - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Ghost - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Would prior governors touring federal facilities count?

    I know for a fact that Gov. Ryan toured the Lincoln Developmental Center before he decided to close it.

  42. - giveandtake - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    6 developmental centers would be fine - but DHS says only 4 will be left in 2 years and advocates want to close all of them.

    If JDC and Murray are both closed, there would be none in central Illinois.

    It is no coincidence that both JDC and Murray are represented by a Republican State Senator and a Republican State Representative.

  43. - Transplant - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    @soccermom, calling Murray substandard is unfair and inaccurate. Because of the level of care residents receive at Murray, pressure sores (bed sores) are practically non-existent. However, in a private UCP facility in Springfield, a resident died from the pressure sores she developed, which ultimately became infected.

  44. - steve schnorf - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    I think we need to split the question. If a decision was made to close a specific facility because it was performing poorly constantly (Lincoln, for example), then I would expect there to have been a great deal of scrutiny of that facility.

    On the other hand, what I understand to be happening here is the gradual implementation of a policy decision to get out of the state operated facility business when it comes to persons with developmental disabilities. So, a Governor visiting here, or there, wouldn’t seem as necessary once the policy decision had been made. It might be far more informative to go visit some of the former residents and their families a few months from now to see how they are doing in their new community placements (though I hasten to point out that trying to be Caseworker-in-Chief would not be a good use of a Governor’s time).

    Generally, though, I agree with word: Govs ought to visit a ,lot of state operations in all different parts of the state as a routine part of being Governor.

  45. - hamcodem - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    If the governor visited every state facility, he would not have time to do anything but just that. Thats why he has a staff. The sad thing is a lot of these residents veiw some of the staff as their family, and a lot of the staff feel the same way about them. Many staff are very nervous that the residents will not receive the same loving care that they get now. It’s like anywhere else, some people are just there for the job, But I happen to know a lot of these people truly love the residents they have.

  46. - L.S. - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Bost is typical of a “slash all funding…except mine” Republican. He demands facilities stay open and talks about “fake” politicians, but he will say with a straight face that the income tax increase should be repealed and not offer a single solution other than unspecified “cuts” to fill the hole.

  47. - walkinfool - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    Bost could be correct in his opposition to this closing, but his argument is weak.

    I have found that the current Governor visits a wider range of places, including places which serve those in need, than either of his predecessors. Before that I didn’t pay attention. He can’t be everywhere that are impacted by budget cuts.

  48. - transplant - Friday, Apr 26, 13 @ 4:46 pm:

    Think he could make it to a community in which he closed the DCFS office, the Animal Disease Lab, an IDES office and an SODC?

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