* Late Friday afternoon press release…
State Senator Andy Manar is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to release the $3 million in state money he promised to Decatur’s Crossing Healthcare during a splashy news conference in February.
More than two months after the governor’s announcement, the Rauner administration has only approved $750,000 for the clinic.
That’s unacceptable, said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat whose district includes Crossing Healthcare and much of Decatur.
“Let’s revisit the governor’s track record with money for this clinic. He froze its funding immediately upon taking office in 2015. He blocked negotiations on the Senate’s ‘grand bargain’ budget last year and repeatedly vetoed budgets that would have provided the money the center was owed and desperately needed,” Manar said.
“I have contacted the comptroller, and her office is prepared to release the full $3 million but can’t do that until Rauner submits the paperwork to do so. I would hate to think the governor could be so cruel as to dangle money in front of a clinic just so he could get in front of a TV camera.”
Rauner previously froze a promised $3 million construction grant to the clinic for its Community Health Improvement Center.
Crossing Healthcare is a federally qualified clinic that served more than 19,000 patients in Decatur in 2016. Among its many services is treatment for opioid addiction.
“Gov. Rauner is going around claiming his administration is doing everything in its power to address the opioid problem. It’s baloney,” Manar said. “And, clearly, he’s not keeping his promises to Decatur.”
* Herald & Review…
Abdon Pallasch, a spokesman for Comptroller Susana Mendoza, said the comptroller’s office is now processing the $750,000, after receiving the sign-off for that amount from the governor’s office Friday.
“We’d be happy to release (the full amount) as soon as we get it,” Pallasch said.
A spokeswoman for the governor, Rachel Bold, says Rauner signed off on the full $3 million on Feb. 8, six days after he toured Crossing Healthcare’s facility.
“Then it goes to the (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) to give the grant, and they’ve given them a quarter of the grant, and we’ve asked them to expedite the rest,” Bold said. “We expect that to happen very soon.”
Bold said she did not know why the grant was being made in installments or the reasoning behind the timing of its release.
Some background is here.