SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following multiple outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy that resulted in the deaths of 13 people and sickened dozens more, State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, has spoken out about the lack of transparency provided by the Rauner administration and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In response, Scherer is sponsoring legislation that would increase transparency by requiring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to submit a quarterly report to the General Assembly about the health and welfare of the residents at each Veterans’ Home.
“I think that it is ridiculous that it has taken so long for the Rauner administration to come clean about what has happened at the Veterans’ Home in Quincy,” said Scherer. “Even three years after the initial outbreak, we are still unclear on the facts. This is unacceptable. 13 people have lost their lives due to the terrible mismanagement by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Governor.”
Scherer’s measure, House Bill 5784, will require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to submit a quarterly report, by January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year, to the Illinois General Assembly about the health and welfare of the residents at each Veterans’ Home, as well as any information on an epidemic or cases involving a communicable disease, such as Legionnaire’s disease. The measure recently passed out of the House Veterans’ Affairs committee with bipartisan support.
“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.”
Scherer represents the 96th District, which includes portions of Christian, Macon and Sangamon counties.