* Most media coverage of Gov. Rauner’s hastily arranged Quincy press conference yesterday was pretty favorable. Quincy Herald-Whig…
Two months after pledging to help find money for upgrades at the Illinois Veterans Home, Gov. Bruce Rauner was back Thursday, calling for construction of a new state-of-the-art facility on the Quincy campus.
“We want to make this the best veterans home in America,” Rauner said. “All I care about is that our veterans are well cared for.”
The state posted a request for proposals for a master planning contract Thursday. This fall, officials hope to choose a design and know how much it will cost to build “a world-class facility.”
Several Veterans Home residents of the home applauded Rauner’s announcement and were pleased to hear that the home, which was founded in 1886, will continue to serve the needs of veterans.
Gov. Bruce Rauner is looking into buying a new home for veterans in Quincy, as well as adding a new building to the existing veterans’ home campus. […]
“We’ve gotta move. We can’t let any more risk occur here,” he said. “These Legionella bacteria, they’re tough to eradicate but we will never give up.”
Rauner said the state is looking at buying a nursing home a few blocks from the current one in Quincy that has been vacant for a year.
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration says it will hire architectural and design teams by summer to redevelop the Quincy veterans’ home campus hit by a Legionnaires’ disease crisis.
Michael Hoffman is Rauner’s senior adviser with oversight of the Quincy situation. He told a news conference in Quincy Thursday that the long-term goal is to build state-of-the-art living quarters for Quincy residents to reduce the chance of Legionella bacteria.
* WGEM TV…
As for the Sycamore facility proposal, Senator Jil Tracy expressed concerns about using the facility after a hearing in Chicago last week. However, on Thursday, she said trusts experts who would make upgrades and make sure veterans are protected. The old Sycamore facility is listed at just under $800,000, according to Hoffman, who said the state has the money now to buy the facility, but would need additional appropriations for modular housing that could also been needed for veterans to live in during future construction.
Pressed on when exactly the administration would attach a price tag to what Rauner envisions, Hoffman said, “We’re not going to give a number at this time. But as soon as we have a plan, as soon as we have a reliable number, we will share that with the public, the General Assembly, and certainly pursue the federal option, as well.”
* Purely by coincidence, I’m sure…
QUINCY — Adams County Republicans convened a political pep rally Thursday night in Quincy and brought in some heavy hitters to lead the cheering.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft were among the featured speakers at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner at the Town and Country Inn and Suites. […]
Rauner, who spoke during the social hour before hurrying to another speaking engagement at a similar Lincoln-Reagan Day event in Pike County, acknowledged he will be facing a big battle himself to get re-elected.
The press conference was thrown together, but the political event had been on the governor’s schedule for quite some time. Click here.
…Adding… What may have happened here is that Rauner realized he had to schedule something at the veterans’ home if he was going to be in town for a campaign event or he’d look horrible.
* Pritzker campaign…
Yesterday, Bruce Rauner said “nothing has taken long” about his fatal mismanagement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home that took 13 lives, but a public health expert disagrees.
From WBEZ: ‘Beginning Of An Epidemic’: Email Shows State Waited 6 Days To Publicize Legionnaires’ Outbreak:
One of the nation’s top infectious disease experts said it’s “mind boggling” that the state would wait six days to notify the public about the initial outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home.
“I think it’s really inexcusable,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Center for Health Security in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “It takes you six days from seeing an epidemic to tell people that you’re seeing an epidemic? That’s six days that you’ve allowed that disease to spread in a manner that probably wouldn’t have happened if you would have known earlier because people would have been taking action. People would have been asking questions.
“If you know there is an epidemic, you need to tell people immediately,” Adalja said.
“Bruce Rauner and his administration intentionally withheld information that could have saved lives in Quincy and let this crisis spiral out of control for years,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This failed governor forced staff and residents to rely on media reports for information, and his continued refusal to take responsibility for his fatal mismanagement is an unconscionable moral failing.”