ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governor Rauner signed a new measure into law on Friday requiring veterans homes in Illinois to notify residents and their families of any infectious disease outbreaks within 24 hours.
The House and Senate moved unanimously to pass the plan to the Governor’s desk after a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires plagued a Quincy veterans home in 2015.
This new law requires the homes to give written notices to all residents, post a sign up in a public area, and call each person’s emergency contact immediately.
Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and has been a frequent critic of the Rauner administration after the Quincy outbreak.
“In 2015, the families of the servicemen and women residing in the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy should have been notified of the Legionnaires’ disease epidemic, but Governor Rauner’s administration left them and their loved ones in the dark,” Cullerton said. “This is simply unacceptable and we can’t let it happen again.”
The former director and assistant director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs both resigned after news reports revealed they waited six days to alert the public about the 2015 outbreak.
Governor Rauner still insists his team did nothing wrong in handling the crisis. The new notification requirements are now law effective immediately.