WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) outlined today how additional federal funds secured in last week’s omnibus funding agreement could be used by the State of Illinois to protect the Illinois Veterans’ Home (IVH) in Quincy from Legionnaires’ Disease and construct a new Veterans’ Home in Chicago. Duckworth pushed for more than half a billion dollars in additional funding for construction at state-run Veteran health facilities like IVH Quincy, all of which was included in the final agreement that passed the Senate and was signed into law.

“Senator Durbin and I delivered on our commitment to secure new federal funding for Veteran facilities with aging infrastructure, like Quincy, that put the health of our Veterans at risk,” Duckworth said. “Now, the Rauner administration must do its part and ensure they take the appropriate action to secure this new funding so that every Veteran whose life is entrusted to the state of Illinois is in a safe facility.”

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“Last week, Senator Duckworth and I upheld our promise to Governor Rauner to continue to advocate for State Veterans Homes like IVH Quincy and push for federal funding on their behalf,” said Durbin. “Now it is the Governor’s turn to uphold his promise to the veterans, residents, and family members of those living at IVH Quincy to reach ‘zero instances of Legionella infection’.”

Since 2015, Illinois state officials have been unable to contain an ongoing Legionnaires’ Disease crisis at the 132-year-old IVH facility in Quincy, which has already claimed the lives of 13 Illinoisans who served our nation in uniform.

Senators Duckworth and Durbin have long pushed for action to mitigate the Legionella at Quincy. Earlier this month, they continued to press Governor Rauner for a detailed plan. In February, they urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take on a more prominent role in addressing this epidemic and called for transparency from the Illinois Department of Public Health on any new confirmed cases. The Senators have also called for a review of the state’s response and have worked to ensure that the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Department of Public Health continue to receive federal assistance from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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