* Remember the AP story yesterday about how Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries told a legislative committee that her department now believes replacing the plumbing at the Quincy veterans’ home wouldn’t be a good use of money after all and would cause too much disruption? Instead, Director Jeffries said, the plan now was to demolish some buildings at the home and rebuild, which would take 3 to 5 years.
Jeffries’ statement came after Gov. Rauner’s January announcement that the plumbing would be replaced.
Well, this is from the AP’s Statehouse guy…
It’s so comforting that everyone is on the same page.
…Adding… Governor’s office…
The Governor was clear in January that “every option should be on the table.”
Office of Governor Bruce Rauner
Monday’s hearing was called after the administration released an August 2016 report from Belleville-based consulting engineer BRiC Partnership suggesting steps to mitigate the problem, including replacing the underground water-distribution system and plumbing inside 15 campus buildings where the most susceptible residents live for $8 million.
[Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries] said in December that plumbing replacement could cost $500 million or more; in January, she told lawmakers about the BRiC report and said it put the price tag at $25 million to $30 million. She has never explained why she used estimates that at a minimum were more than four times higher than the actual number.
BRiC’s 2016 report, which cost $20,000, listed about a dozen ideas for a total of $17 million. The administration paid BRiC another $40,000 to update and expand its 2016 report. That update released last month indicated plumbing replacement for the entire campus would be $11 million; expanded options for the other ideas combined would cost no more than $24 million.
Jeffries explained Monday that the August 2016 delivery of the BRiC report was just two months after the June completion of a $6.5 million water-treatment facility and wanted to test its effectiveness before taking any more actions. But Public Health officials had confirmed two more cases of Legionnaires’ in late July, just days before BRiC’s arrival on campus.
Emphasis added for obvious reasons.
Director Jefferies, you’ll recall, said yesterday that she prefers “to speak with journalists who have journalistic integrity.” Hmm.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign…
At a hearing yesterday, Bruce Rauner’s administration announced that the Legionnaires crisis that has already lasted nearly three years and taken 13 lives will continue for at least another “three to five” years.
After 13 residents died on Rauner’s watch, the failed governor has struggled to deal with the health crisis, desperately resorting to press stunts and cover ups instead of real action to fix the problem. Now, as Rauner feels political pressure for his nearly three years of inaction, his administration is taking a page out of the Trump playbook and attacking the press instead of solving the crisis.
“Bruce Rauner has fatally mismanaged the Quincy Veterans’ home, and now he is attacking the press and covering up information instead of taking real action to fix the problem,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Our state’s heroes can’t wait three to five years for this failed governor to address a crisis he has let spiral out of control.”