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Manar furious over grant delay

Monday, Apr 16, 2018

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    ===Bold said she did not know why the grant was being made in installments or the reasoning behind the timing of its release.===

    I’d ask Ms. Bourne and Mr. Barickman.

    Then again, Gov. Rauner is out of the country so Ms. Bourne and Mr. Barickman won’t have much to say until Rauner says so… so Sen. Manar will have to be furious on his own.

  2. - Juice - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    For years, capital grants from DCEO have gone out this way. 25% once the grant agreement is executed, and the rest gets paid out when the grantee provides invoices to DCEO demonstrating that they have reimbursable expenses.

    The idea is to make sure that the money is actually being used for lawful purposes, as governed by both state law and the IRS (since the expenses are coming from bond proceeds.)

    The administration seems to be playing this pretty straight here.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    –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.–

    Even if the alleged sign-off was stuck in one of those imaginary offices that don’t have computers, it doesn’t take more than two months to shuffle some papers over to the comptroller.

    The delay must be due to incompetence or malice. Take your pick. Could go either way with this crew.

  4. - Henry Francis - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    Juice is right about the disbursing of grant funds. Which raises the question why doesn’t Ms. Bold know that. Or why she can make a phone call and find out in 5 minutes.

    And the full $3m has been spent - actually the organization had to borrow the $3m because they started construction relying upon the $3m from the state. So there is no reason not to disburse the full $3M.

    The truth is this $3M was awarded in 2014. Rauner stopped it.

    Rauner then did a press pop with Buffet in December announcing the funding.

    Rauner then did another press pop in February.

    And to date has only approved $750k. While this organization continues to rack up interest charges on money they had to borrower because Rauner didn’t want to give them the money the previous administration promised. (Compare that with Rauner’s decision to honor all the EDGE awards agreed to by the previous administration).

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    Perhaps the governor should have explained all the catches to his $3 million “promise” in Decatur.

    You get this much “soon” and then the bulk of it “later.”

    Then again, does anyone really thing Bruce Rauner knows or cares about how any of this works?

  6. - Captain Flint - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    Rauner will probably just beeline to Italy….so Bourne and Barickman will just be speechless until they’re unseated in November.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    ===so Bourne and Barickman will just be speechless until…===

    … the next General Assembly.

    They will be back, but forever will be Raunerites, even if facts refuted their own Raunerite talking points.

  8. - walker - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    What Juice said above.

    This group is being treated better than most others.

  9. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Two questions-

    1. Has Crossroads submitted all paperwork including invoices?

    2. Dependent on 1 above- if they have, has DCEO been sitting, purposely, on these invoices?

    If 2 is a “Yes”, then there is some splainin’ to do by the Administration, in charge or not.

  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Juice, the project is already complete. They borrowed the money in 2015.

    Plus, this: “That’s where Buffett’s donation came in. He told Rauner in December that he would put up $3 million if the state would match the contribution by releasing the $3 million from the initial grant.”

  11. - Juice - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Rich, understood. But the way that would typically work (it happens pretty frequently) is the first 25% gets paid upfront, and then the grantee would present the documentation showing that they have expenses totaling $3 million related to the project, and they would get the remaining balance of the grant all at once.

    Nothing would have prohibited the Governor’s office asking DCEO to send it all out a once, but DCEO was going to stick with their typical process unless asked to do differently.

    And imagine a $3 mil grant to an entity that had already completed their project. They only spent $2.75 mil to complete the project, but the state still sends the $3 mil so the group just keeps the rest. This is how people end up in prison. (Not saying that is the case here, but just why the process is in place.)

  12. - Flat Bed Ford - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    Thin-skinned Manar is mad? Poor guy…

    In other news water is wet and the sun rose in the east this morning.

  13. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    “… Rose could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.”

    Well, it’s Monday afternoon now, and Rose isn’t in Poland on a trade mission. Time to speak up for your constituents, Chapin, and a project you drummed for.

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