02072018CM0131 RSSPRINGFIELD- A 2016 engineering report recently released to the media and Senators will be the subject of a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday.

The report was released late last Friday and, among other things, includes recommendations by engineers that the state seriously consider replacing the plumbing in buildings at the Quincy Veterans Home.

Several federal Centers for Disease Control studies have repeatedly pointed to those aging pipes and the biofilm within them as harboring the Legionella bacteria that has been blamed for 13 deaths and numerous other infections among residents, family and staff at the Quincy facility.

“The committee said it would get back together to discuss the Quincy situation when we had new information to consider. Needless to say, this report provides a great deal of information and raises questions why the administration hasn’t done more sooner,” said Senator Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat and chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Cullerton said the information in the report doesn’t match what state officials have been telling the committee.

“The state has been entrusted with caring for veterans and their families. It’s been clear for quite some time that there’s a problem at that facility. What I want to see is some meaningful action to remedy it and create a safe environment there,” Cullerton said.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The directors from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Department of Public Health and the state’s lead construction agency, the Capital Development Board have been asked to attend.

02072018 RSSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed legislation today that will require a full legislative audit of the governor’s response to the Legionnaires' disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

This week the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed two more cases of Legionnaires' disease at the home, continuing an outbreak that has already claimed 13 lives.

“Gov. Rauner cannot continue to hide behind smoke and mirrors. We want answers now,” Cullerton said. “The governor’s office has stonewalled our bipartisan committee’s requests for transparency and accountability.  Now I have no other option but to call on my colleagues on the Legislative Audit Commission to launch a full examination into the governor’s response to this tragic outbreak.”

Cullerton said this will give the Illinois General Assembly a clearer picture of infrastructure problems at the home and the state’s response to them.

“The sooner we examine this atrocity, the more quickly we can remedy the situation,” he said.

Read more: Tom Cullerton measure requires full legislative audit of governor’s Legionnaires' response

cullerton tom2014SPRINGFIELD – Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address:

“Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to raise property taxes. His budget gives our schools no other choice.”

02072018 RSSPRINGFIELD - Staffing shortages and poor flow of information can be added to the list of mismanagement by the Rauner administration at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

The shortages came to light at a bipartisan Veterans Affairs Committee hearing convened by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) Wednesday morning.

Nette Smith, who works at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy and is the President of the AFSCME Quincy chapter, outlined the staffing concerns Wednesday, noting healthcare personnel are working “tremendous amounts of overtime” while more than 40 positions remain open at the home.

“The staff at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy is doing an amazing job providing our veterans and their loved ones with the best possible care,” Cullerton said. “But it is alarming that they are over 40 open positions at the facility that need to be filled.”

When the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease hit, Smith said she found out through media reports, and staff members were often unable to attend informational meetings regarding the outbreak because they were busy doing their jobs. On-duty staff members often missed the once-daily formal briefings and were not given more opportunities to be informed.

“Keeping staff in the dark is a disservice to not only the staff but the residents at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy,” Cullerton said. “How are medical personnel supposed to make sound and educated decisions without a complete picture?”

Cullerton is working toward a legislative remedy to implement staff notification requirements at state facilities such as the Quincy home, but he said the first step will be a basic level of respect from those in charge.

“We have a staff that is overworked and underappreciated by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration,” Cullerton said. “The staff comes to work every day and gives our veterans and their loved ones their very best. The governor’s office now needs to step up and give them the respect and care they deserve in return.”

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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