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Rauner’s agency directors no-show Veterans Committee (VIDEO)

tc 042018SPRINGFIELD- Two key department directors no-showed another committee meeting Thursday that was aimed at finding solutions to infrastructure problems that led to an ongoing outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

The bipartisan House and Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs adjourned without receiving a status update from the Illinois Director of Veterans Affairs Erica Jefferies and Director of Public Health Nirav Shah.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs, was disappointed in the directors’ absence.

“It is simply unacceptable that Director Shah and Director Jefferies did not attend our bipartisan hearing,” Cullerton said. “The lack of communication that we have received throughout this process is ridiculous.”

Cullerton sent letters to the agency heads earlier this month asking for documentation of all communications regarding press strategies between the agencies from Dec. 1, 2017 through March 9, 2018. He also asked for documentation of all communications referencing the 2015 BRIC report. He was given a stack of papers after the hearing. 

“I want to work with the administration to address this issue, but Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration continues to hide in the shadows instead of being forthright and responding to our requests for information,” Cullerton said. “I urge Director Jefferies and Director Shah to reach out so we can have an open discussion on how we can work together to address the needs of our U.S. servicemen and women.”

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.