New law authorizes Quincy Veterans’ Home rehab project
The Governor also this week signed Senate Bill 3128, the Quincy Veterans’ Home Rehabilitation Act, allowing for the state to move forward on an expansion at the current facility while reducing red tape on future construction to allow the state to proceed more expediently on the project.
The Quincy Veterans’ Home may now begin its five-year capital development plan following the signing of Senate Bill 3128, which provides for design-build contracting for the facility’s projects to renovate, rehabilitate and rebuilt the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. This is expected to eliminate redundancies associated with the traditional construction process, and is anticipated to reduce time spent on the project and associated costs.
Over the next five years, the campus will undergo a major rehabilitation to update the care facilities and residence to ensure it is up to code and safe for veteran residents and their families.
Senate Bill 3128 authorizes the Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs to use design-build contracting in the upcoming projects at the Veterans’ Home. It also provides for the deposit and use of federal funds received as reimbursement for capital improvement project expenses.
The Quincy campus is the largest Veterans’ Home in Illinois. Importantly, the $52 million capital development plan allows for the residents to continue living in the facility undisturbed during the construction. The Governor also signed House Bill 5683, authorizing a recently purchased adjacent nursing facility to be included as an official part of the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. This facility will be used as temporary housing for veterans during the construction on the new facility at the existing campus, which will ensure continuity of care for residents.
Metro East Sanitary District Board
Governor Rauner vetoed a controversial bill that would have changed the makeup on the Metro East Sanitary District (MESD) Board this week. Rauner visited the MESD office on Tuesday, July 17, in Granite City and vetoed Senate Bill 2368—saying it was a politically motivated attempt to undercut the good work of the MESD Board of Commissioners.
The governor offered two reasons—including that the MESD is currently being managed effectively and is becoming more financially stable under current leadership. He also noted that the legislation unjustifiably strips Madison County of a board appointee and gives it to the Granite City Mayor who is also chairman of the Granite City Wastewater Treatment Board.
“There is no evidence that these changes improve the best interest of the district at large,” said Sen. Schimpf. “I’m grateful the governor was able to see that accepting such changes, could have prohibited future prosperity and transparency for the board. This veto is a prime example of the work we need to continue to do to break down the cycle of patronage hiring practices in Illinois. I commend Governor Rauner for putting our taxpayers first.”
Governor Rauner said the legislation would have taken the district back to past problems, including financial mismanagement and political hires.
“This is a bad bill. We should not have Springfield interfering in local control and the good management practices that have been brought here. And so that’s why I’m honored to sign this veto so that this does not become law from Springfield,” said Rauner.
Actions on Second Amendment Legislation
Gov. Rauner announced this week that he would veto Senate Bill 337, which is yet another attempt to establish a new state bureaucracy to regulate firearms dealers.
“I’m grateful the governor plans to veto this firearm dealer licensing bill that would likely put small, southern Illinois firearm dealers out of business,” said Sen. Schimpf. “Unfortunately, I expect that this isn’t the last we’ll see of this misguided proposal.”
In addition to his statement on SB 337, Governor Rauner signed two gun control bills that had passed the General Assembly earlier this spring.
Rauner's signature on House Bill 2354 enacts "red flag" legislation giving courts authority to use emergency civil restraining orders to disarm “dangerous” individuals; and with the signing of Senate Bill 3256, the 72-hour waiting period for handguns delivery is extended to all guns purchased in Illinois.
“I’m disappointed additional restrictions are being placed on the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Schimpf. “The gun control laws in Illinois are already among the strictest in the nation and I don’t believe the latest infringements on our rights will make anyone safer.”
The new laws take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Senator Schimpf applauds 2018 Small Equipment Grant recipients
Area fire departments to receive portion of $2 million in funding Sen. Schimpf is recognizing the hard work of area firefighters who recently earned grant funding for their departments. The Office of the State Fire Marshal has recently determined the recipients of the Fiscal Year 2018 Small Equipment Grant Program.
There are 100 departments taking a share of the $2.2 million in awarded funds, including eight recipients in and around District 58. Senator Schimpf wants to acknowledge the winners in his district and express appreciation for the work they do.
Local grant recipients:
- Gorham Volunteer Fire Department, Gorham
- Jefferson Fire Protection District, Mt. Vernon
- Ware-Wolf Lake Fire Protection District, Wolf Lake
- Valmeyer Fire Protection District, Valmeyer
- Ellis Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Ellis Grove
- Sparta Fire Department, Sparta
- Camp Jackson Fire Department, Cahokia
- Libory Fire Protection District, St. Libory
The Office of the State Fire Marshal awards the grants on an annual basis. This year’s list of winners was shared during a press conference with Senator Schimpf at the Collinsville Fire Station on Tuesday, July 17.
About Senate District 58
The 58th Senate District includes all or parts of Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington, and Union Counties and represents more than 220,000 Illinois citizens. Discover more at senatorschimpf.com and find him on Facebook.