Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Sens. Haine, Castro respond *** Rauner outlines “options” for future of Quincy veterans’ home, says “Nothing has taken long”
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*** UPDATED x2 - Sens. Haine, Castro respond *** Rauner outlines “options” for future of Quincy veterans’ home, says “Nothing has taken long”

Thursday, Mar 15, 2018

* Press release…

Governor Bruce Rauner today detailed the latest CDC-backed remediation efforts at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy (IVHQ) and announced that the Capital Development Board is issuing an RFP for a Master Planning contract to explore building a new state-of-the-art facility on the Quincy campus.

He also revealed that the state intends to purchase a vacant nursing home a few blocks from the Quincy campus, renovate it, and prepare it for occupancy in the event residents need to be moved to protect them from potential Legionella infections. There have been no positive water tests for Legionella since completion of the latest remediation.

* During a press conference this afternoon in Quincy Mike Hoffman, the former CMS director who has been put in charge of fixing the problems at the veterans’ home, clarified that statement about buying the vacant nursing home.

“We have not signed a contract, we have not entered into an agreement,” Hoffman said. It could happen in the next month or two, he said.

“That’s not the plan yet,” Gov. Rauner also said today in Quincy about buying the nursing home down the street and moving the residents. “That’s an option that we want to have available.”

But, he said, that option could not accommodate all 352 veterans’ home residents because there’s not enough room.

So, Rauner said they’ll have a modular housing option on the veterans’ home campus itself, “With all new piping, all new facilities not connected at all to the existing water system.”

The governor claimed today that the modular housing option (with all new plumbing from a different water source) could be accomplished “in just a few months.”

OK.

Rauner also said he wants to work with the General Assembly to “try to streamline the procurement process” to get the all new facility built, which he expects to take two years. Yeah, well, I hope he puts Hoffman in charge of that and doesn’t try to deal with the GA on his own is all I’m saying.

* Gov. Rauner also got defensive when asked why these changes have taken so long

There is this false narrative I think for political purposes that somehow it’s too slow or why did it take so long. Nothing has taken long. We’ve implemented immediately, immediately everything that’s been recommended. So, there was nothing that somehow taken too long, or we didn’t do or we waited on. Nothing whatsoever.

As a reminder, twelve residents died in 2015 (partly because the administration took way too long to notify them of the outbreak), another one has passed away since then and 4 cases popped up last month alone.

* The governor was not asked about this today

A Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General says there should be an independent investigation into the state’s handling of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at a veterans’ home.

Erika Harold is supported by Governor Bruce Rauner, who has defended his administration’s response to the outbreaks even though residents there keep getting sick.

At a forum for attorney general candidates [last week] streamed on facebook - Harold was asked if there’s potentially a case for criminal negligence by state officials. Harold says it’s too soon to know.

    HAROLD: I wouldn’t prejudge the evidence but I think there should be an independent investigation and see where the evidence leads.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s press conference at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy today:

“What is this guy talking about? Everything he said today was a contradiction of what we were told last week by his administration.”

“Last week we were told the nearby nursing home might not be option for housing veterans because the building is old and might have its own problems. Today we’re told it’s back on the table.

“Last week we were told a draft plan for fixing the Quincy campus would be done by the end of the month and a final plan ready by May 1. Today we hear about entirely new avenues that should be finalized by the fall.

“When is someone going to actually take charge and do something?

“This outbreak began in 2015. The governor already spent $60,000 worth of taxpayers’ money on two engineering reports only to now announce he’s throwing them out and spending even more on new experts to do new studies and offer up another new plan.

“I’ve got family members of deceased veterans contacting me because they’re frustrated and fed up with the Rauner administration.

“I don’t want to hear about plans and options and task forces and choices to be made at some future date. I want the governor to make a decision and do something right now.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

tate Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) released the following statement this afternoon following the governor’s press conference at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy:

“Classic bureaucrats. Three years after the crisis began they’re still talking about options and plans. There have been enough studies and reports and meetings. And that’s all the governor announced today. More studies and reports and meetings. The governor appears stuck on a political treadmill. Just do something already.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===So, Rauner said they’ll have a modular housing option on the veterans’ home campus itself, “With all new piping, all new facilities not connected at all to the existing water system.”===

    I read “modular housing” and think “trailer park.” Hopefully that is only a temporary step and not the long-term solution Rauner has in mind.


  2. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    Candidate Harold just gave you an opening to appointment an independent investigator, General Madigan. I’d bet it could take 7-8 months to conduct a thorough investigation, wouldn’t you?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===There is this false narrative I think for political purposes that somehow it’s too slow or why did it take so long. Nothing has taken long. We’ve implemented immediately, immediately everything that’s been recommended. So, there was nothing that somehow taken too long, or we didn’t do or we waited on. Nothing whatsoever.===

    If this was 2015, this would have some, but very little weight.

    It’s 2018.

    The rest… is heartbreaking.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    Anyone ask him why the report from 2016 wasn’t implemented? Meh it was 2016 that’s really not too long ago.


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    Time is relative, right?

    In Rauner’s mind, as long as it’s not one of his relatives at risk of fatal poisoning from the water tap, three years and still no plan of action is moving with all deliberate speed.

    On this one, I find it hard to believe that even some of the people, all of the time, can buy it.

    Truly shameful, the indifference, the laziness, the stonewalling and the pathetic CYA spin.


  6. - Jocko - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==We’ve implemented immediately, immediately==

    Bruce is like Max Headroom, only less lifelike and lacking in wit.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Modular homes could have been bought in 2015. So why finally in 2018?


  8. - Oh, please! - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Lying Bruce Rauner at it again.

    Note absence of DPH and DVA directors at his press conference.

    If his administration handled this properly why are the 2 agencies at the center of it MIA today???


  9. - JoanP - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    Rauner has a very strange idea of what constitutes “immediately”.


  10. - Mama - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    People began dying from Legionella infections three years ago. The governor’s office knew 3- years ago what caused that outbreak. Tell the families whom loss their husband/wife or father/mother since 2015 that “Nothing has taken long.”


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    ==Modular homes could have been bought in 2015. So why finally in 2018? ==

    2018 is an election year, and Gov. Rauner is running for re-election so…


  12. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===“try to streamline the procurement process”===

    “try to make sure contracts get awarded to my pals”

    Fixed it for you, Gov. Gaslight.


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Note absence of DPH and DVA directors at his press conference.

    If his administration handled this properly why are the 2 agencies at the center of it MIA today??? ==

    Perhaps they were not there because they didn’t know anything about it??


  14. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    Modular home construction. Prevailing wage. Doubtful. Chinese pvc. I get it.


  15. - dbk - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    –There is this false narrative I think for political purposes that somehow it’s too slow or why did it take so long. Nothing has taken long. We’ve implemented immediately, immediately everything that’s been recommended. So, there was nothing that somehow taken too long, or we didn’t do or we waited on. Nothing whatsoever.–

    Uh, calling “PolitiFact”. Please rate on a scale of “Pants on Fire” to “Heat of a Thousand Suns.”

    There are many reasons this gov should go down in November, but if the Dem nominee doesn’t make this one of the focal points of the campaign, then I give up on them, too.

    This issue tells us everything we need to know about the gov; let’s hope a savvy campaign strategist can figure out how to draw out the individual strands from the big picture.


  16. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    The modular housing is going to be surplus FEMA trailers from Hurricane Katrina and the new water supply is a hose from the fire hydrant on the corner.


  17. - Oh Bruce - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    I think Senator Bill Haine said it best the other day: the governor has managed to renovate the governor’s mansion in three years, why has he lacked the focus to renovate the veterans home in the same three years?


  18. - Leigh John-Ella - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    People, the governor today offered a clear and decisive commitment that the nearby nursing home touted as a potential solution by the local press is being considered as part of a possible option that the state would want to have available to consider as an option as it plans and weighs the best options that it has to consider in planning for which option makes the most sense in consideration of the plans that they are weighing and the options they have being considered for planning.

    So, please, quit playing politics and blaming Rauner. He’s a man of action.


  19. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    100% focused is the cry.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===So, please, quit playing politics and blaming Rauner. He’s a man of action.===

    There are 13 that died.

    A man if action would’ve done more 3 years ago.

    Understand?


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    OW, you somehow missed LJEs snark.


  22. - Anon221 - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    Sen. Castro-

    “I don’t want to hear about plans and options and task forces and choices to be made at some future date. I want the governor to make a decision and do something right now.”

    Amen.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    - wordslinger -

    The NCAA games have my focus off it seems.


  24. - zatoichi - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    If this had been a CILA, ICF/DD, state op, or other state licensed facility, state inspectors would be all over the Quincy Vet home with a parade of reviewers, OIG investigations, written action plans, fines, career ending findings, and steps toward closure. Why is this operation any different?


  25. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    The Sen. Castro press release: ouch.

    ===“When is someone going to actually take charge and do something?===

    Gov. Gaslight: “I’m not in charge.”


  26. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    I mean it is not at all exaggeration or hyperbole to simply state that Bruce Rauner’s refusal to take responsibility for ANYTHING quite literally gets people killed.


  27. - James - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    Raunergate in Quincy will be a leading piece in the Governor’s downfall. As in 1972–two chief executives send in the plumbers, and organize a cover-up.


  28. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    Staggering and heartbreaking incompetence.


  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    “He also revealed that the state intends to purchase a vacant nursing home a few blocks from the Quincy campus, renovate it, and prepare it for occupancy in the event residents need to be moved to protect them from potential Legionella infections. There have been no positive water tests for Legionella since completion of the latest remediation.”

    If 13 deaths were not an event to move the residents, are you waiting for everyone of them to die to call it an event?

    How many times before were there no positive water tests only for it to reappear?

    Governor, leadership is hard, needs a mature and disciplined individual to carry out the responsibilities of leadership. Maybe you should delegate your authority to someone who can lead? These deaths occured on your watch. The issue may have began before you took the helm, but the first death should have been your call to action. You failed and continue to fail the most basic task.


  30. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    Anonymous at 4:53 was me.


  31. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 5:14 pm:

    It’s gonna take a couple months to get it together on the nursing home down the street so Uncle Bill has time to tie it up first.


  32. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    The governor’s comments at the news conference were not nearly as committed to the nearby nursing home as his press release. In fact a reporter asked him about it and he bristled at the implied finality in the question, saying “That’s not the plan yet. That’s an option.”

    Maybe he should read his own press releases.


  33. - Radio Flyer - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 6:18 pm:

    “Uncle Bill” heh heh. I was thinking of Mr. Cellini too, when I read this.


  34. - cc - Thursday, Mar 15, 18 @ 7:11 pm:

    I plead total ignorance of “who is in charge”. Seems to me that with these folks being veteran’s of U.S. government, Duckworth/Durbin could do something. This whole situation is FUBAR.


  35. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 16, 18 @ 12:28 am:

    == Bruce is like Max Headroom, only less lifelike and lacking in wit. ==

    Max Headroom was a fictional digital reporter who told the truth instead of being part of a lying media conspiracy.

    Bruce Rauner is the antithesis (exact opposite) of Max Headroom.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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