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Quincy Week in Review: Rauner Fails to Explain New Revelations

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It’s another bad week for Governor Bruce Rauner as questions surrounding his administration’s response to the Quincy Veterans’ Home Legionnaires’ outbreak. Last Friday, the Associated Press obtained a 2016 engineers report that suggested replacing water pipes at the Quincy home for $8 million. Rauner’s administration did not follow through on the report, and veterans continued to get sick at the home.
Rauner and his administration spent most of the week dodging questions about the report. First, they failed to show for a legislative hearing on the matter. Then, Rauner said he was unfamiliar with the report. A sampling of stories is below:
Last Friday: AP: “2016 report put Quincy plumbing fix at $8M”

“Engineers told Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration 18 months ago that replacing problematic plumbing at a veterans’ home beset by Legionnaires’ disease would cost $8 million and ‘should be carefully considered,’ according to a report obtained by The Associated Press […]”
“The Veterans’ Affairs Department took no action on the August 2016 report by Belleville-based BRiC Partnership. Then, on Jan. 8 — facing questions from lawmakers reviewing the administration’s response to the outbreak — the agency requested the plumbing replacement as an “emergency” project, according to emails the AP obtained with the report under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.”

Tuesday, Fox Illinois: “No show, no answer for committee on Legionnaires’ outbreak”

“The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee invited Illinois’s Department of Health, Department for Veteran’s Affairs and Rauner’s administration to answer questions on Tuesday. The major question was, why they didn’t take immediate action after receiving an engineering report on the home in 2016? The question was never answered because neither the departments or the administrations showed up.”

Tuesday, WAND: “4th case of Legionnaires’ confirmed at Quincy Veterans’ home”

“A fourth case of Legionnaires’ Disease was confirmed at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. The positive test result was confirmed Tuesday. The resident is in stable condition. Representatives from the DCD returned to the home last week to provide support and guidance.”

Wednesday, WMAY: “Rauner Suggests He is Not Familiar with 2016 Report on Veteran’s Home Legionnaires Disease Outbreak”

“Governor Bruce Rauner suggests he’s not familiar with the 2016 report that called for replacing the plumbing at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy to address an ongoing Legionnaires Disease outbreak. That report put the cost at $8 million… far less than other administration estimates to address water issues that have sickened dozens of residents there, including four more just this month alone. When asked about the $8 million figure, Rauner said he’d have to see those numbers and what exactly they covered.”