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Tom Cullerton outraged at third confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease this week

ivhq signVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged at third confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy today.

“Three cases this week alone and still no real solutions from the governor. Obviously his leadership throughout this entire process -- from the initial 2015 outbreak to where we stand now -- has been an abysmal failure. The time to act is now. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers are willing to take action the moment the governor decides he cares.”

Cullerton measure requires legislative audit of governor’s Legionnaire’s response

tc vets resol 021518SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed legislation today that will require a full legislative audit of the governor’s response to the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

This week the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed two more cases of Legionnaire’s 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.”

Tom Cullerton: Quincy staff is overworked and underappreciated by governor

vets staff 020818SPRINGFIELD - 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.

Tom Cullerton fights to give Quincy veterans honor and respect they deserve

tc 052617SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced legislation today that would require the Auditor General to investigate the response by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy

Culleton has led the charge to evaluate the actions taken by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and to ensure current protocols and procedures are up to date. He also wants to ensure these procedures were properly followed by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.

“Our veterans have served our country with great honor and respect. Sadly, some loyal soldiers were unable to count on the State of Illinois to give them the care they deserved,” Cullerton said. “My hope is a thorough examination will create policies to guarantee our veterans will not perish due to preventable conditions.”  

Cullerton, who serves on the bipartisan Illinois Legislative Audit Commission, sent letters to fellow members State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) in hopes of cooperating to drive the audit. 

“The Illinois Auditor General must launch a full examination into the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy to give the General Assembly a clear picture of the problems we have on hand,” Cullerton said. “The sooner we examine this atrocity, the quicker we can remedy the situation.”

Cullerton said this is another example of mismanagement and ineffective usage of state resources by the governor’s administration. 

“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has been thoughtless and ineffective in providing care and services to our veterans,” Cullerton said. “I’ll continue to fight for my fellow soldiers like they have fought for me.”  

Cullerton served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993, and he currently serves as the chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee.

Senate Resolution 1186 passed the Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs with bipartisan support and now moves to the full senate for consideration.

He will reconvene a bipartisan hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 7 to address this issue and continue to examine the care and services veterans receive at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy. 

Sen. Tom Cullerton

tcullerton-hs

23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); State Government & Veterans Affairs; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities.

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.