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Senate overrides Rauner in effort to bring justice to Quincy families

vets home 030918SPRINGFIELD – Despite a veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) lead the charge in the Illinois State Senate to help provide justice to the 14 families who lost loved ones to a Legionnaire’s disease epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Hastings’ Senate Bill 2481 would remove a $100,000 cap for state payouts in civil litigation. The measure will allow families greater restitution for the loved ones who died as a result of state negligence and mismanagement. The Illinois Senate overrode Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2481 with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

 

Hastings, a military veteran, noted a total of 14 people have died and more than 60 have fallen ill at the Quincy Home from exposure to the Legionella bacterium since August 2015.

“The only person who is opposed to this measure is Gov. Bruce Rauner. This bill will provide some semblance of justice to the military families of the 14 veterans who were victims of administration’s gross negligence and failure of leadership,” Hastings said.

The Senate’s move to override the veto comes in light of news that a grand jury subpoenaed Rauner’s office and state agencies for Legionnaires’-related records tied to outbreaks at the home.

Last week, WBEZ reported that the grand jury had also subpoenaed the state public health department.

“I cannot begin to comprehend the loss these families have had to go through,” Hastings said. “We were trusted to care for these veterans in their golden years after their families already sacrificed so much during their times of service. Our hope is this measure will help the military families that suffered this great tragedy receive justice.”

Senate Bill 2481 now heads to the House for consideration.

Sen. Michael E. Hastings

hastings 150
19th Legislative District

Years served: 2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive (Chairperson); Insurance; Judiciary; Subcommittee on Election Law; Subcommittee on Gaming.

Biography: Born October 6th, 1980, in Orland Hills; B.S. in Leadership and Management, Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, M.S., Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; former US Army Captain; Bronze Star recipient; former trustee and vice president for High School District 230.

Associated Representatives:
Margo McDermed
Debbie Meyers-Martin