Comptroller calls for action at Quincy veterans home

Posted: Updated:

QUINCY, Ill. (WAND) – The Illinois comptroller took a visit to a veterans home that has dealt with a deadly disease.

Susana Mendoza joined State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D – Villa Park) and State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D - Aurora)  in a tour of the facility, which has seen 13 people die from Legionnaires’ disease in the last several years. LaVia is chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

The group spent time looking around the Elmore Infirmary, which is home to a basement water system that has seen some changes. The majority of the Legionnaires’ cases happened in that area of the facility. 

The Quincy home also saw several dozen cases of gastrointestinal illness in late March.

Mendoza says she wants to see Illinois leaders act quickly, and with a “comprehensive” plan that costs less than the $265 million changes Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed.

“It seems there is no sense of urgency with this administration to get the job done,” Mendoza said. “Residents of the Quincy Veterans Home, their families and the public at large deserve the unredacted truth about how this administration plans to address this daily threat to the health and safety of veterans and their caregivers.”

She says Rauner did not prioritize funding for the Quincy home when naming priorities for the spring legislative session.

Rep. Sue Scherer (D - Decatur) says there hasn't been enough transparency about a response to the Quincy situation. She has proposed a change that would require the Department of Veterans' affairs to give quarterly reports to state lawmakers about the health of veterans home residents. 

"Our veterans deserve to have the best possible care, but that can't happen if state leaders drag their feet and don't address serious problems, like outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease," continued Scherer.  "I want to know what Rauner knew about the outbreaks, and when he knew it.  With this legislation, our veterans can rest assured knowing that the governor can no longer hide behind this issue, and we will find the truth."

Gov. Rauner's office says it is working hard to find answers. 

"Our administration, in coordination with legislators, local stakeholders, IDPH, IDVA and the CDC, work every day to protect our veterans," spokeswoman Rachel Bold said. "We have laid out specifics on short term solutions that minimize risk, campus expansion opportunities outside the existing water system and budgeted for a new facility at the Quincy Veterans Home that meets the needs of modern veterans."

In the visit, Mendoza met with people in the Quincy community to talk about how to respond to issues at the home.

Current Conditions
  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo: AP file

      Dead turtle discovered in woman's genitalia

      ARONA, Tenerife (WAND) – Doctors discovered a dead turtle in a woman’s genitalia after she went to them complaining about pain. 

    • Photo: AP file

      30 hours in a coffin can win prizes, money

      ST. LOUIS (WAND) – A Six Flags park is challenging people to spend 30 straight hours in a coffin this fall. 

    • 115-year sentence reached in sexual assault trial

      DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – A Decatur man will spend 115 years behind bars for sexually assaulting a minor. 

    • Five now accused of sexual misconduct at Logan Correctional Center

      Two more lawsuits obtained by WAND accuse three more employees at the Logan County Correctional Center of sexual misconduct, with one claiming there is "a widespread practice" of prison officials failing to intervene to stop sexual assaults and harassment. 

    • CLINTON, Ill. (WAND) - Students and staff at Clinton High School are mourning the loss of 14-year-old Kloe Weiss after she was killed in an ATV accident.

    • 2 hospitalized after motorcycle, SUV crash

      DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Two people went to the hospital after a motorcycle and SUV crashed in Decatur. 

    • Dallas police officer who shot neighbor fired by department

      DALLAS (AP) - A white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor inside his own apartment was fired Monday, the same day the man was being buried in his Caribbean homeland. 

    • WAND Interactive Radar

      WAND Interactive Radar
    • The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your

    • Authorities plan rail safety push

      Law enforcement from around Macon County Monday announced extra patrols around railroad property as part of Rail Safety Week.