Hastings shares harsh words about Quincy veterans home
Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) joined Tribune reporter Rick Pearson on the Sunday Spin Show on WGN Radio to share some harsh words about state leadership when it comes to fixing problems at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
The problem: the veteran's home has had repeated outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease and norovirus. Over the past few years, 13 veterans have died because of the outbreaks.
"(The executive branch's) estimates of costs of repair ranged from $25 million to $250 million to fix the home. To me, it just seems like a joke," Hastings said. "Especially the way they're handling this. The way they've provided information to the legislative body has been secretive."
Two issues are at play: the best way to help the veterans and the way information was handled.
"Ever since 2015, looking at the emails we requested, comparing what was given by the governor's office to what was given to Adams County, it's clear they're trying to hide something," Hastings said. "I think they realized they made a mistake and now they're scrambling to fix it."
Currently, about 350 veterans live at the home, a 109-year-old building.
There were cases of staff members contracting Legionnaires' disease and didn't find out about the severity of the problem until they heard about it on Facebook and the news.
"The governor just seems to be inundated with too many other things. He just seems unfit to lead state government," Hastings said.
The state is considering a capital bill to help fund the repairs, but the problem comes back to finding a way to fund the bill.
"It seems like this is the governor's way of doing politics," Hastings said. "Some of these people need to either correct it or move on from their job."