Wehrli reminds House that everyone wants 'to do what is right by our veterans'
Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) rebuked Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) for insinuating that Gov. Bruce Rauner did not help with the upcoming rehabilitation of the Quincy Veterans’ Home.
“Please stop the rhetoric and blaming people,” Wehrli said to Chap LaVia during the May 31 House floor debate after she spoke about SB 3128, a bill sponsored by House Majority Leader lBarbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) that creates the Quincy Veterans' Home Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Act.
“It’s to clean up the mess at Quincy,” Currie said of the investment made by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Capital Development Board to acquire property and rehabilitate more than 200 acres at the veterans’ home, which has seen 13 deaths from Legionnaires' disease since 2015.
Chapa LaVia credited herself and other Democrats with getting the bill crafted.
“This act is the General Assembly’s response to the need for the renovation of the Quincy Veterans' Home to protect the lives of our veterans,” she said.
Because the governor’s office had fallen short by “not yet proposing any language,” the speaker’s office stepped in, according to Chapa LaVia.
“This is a result of these negotiations,” she said.
Wehrli didn’t like that at all, and he pointed out the blatant hypocrisy in her short speech.
“We just heard the fine representative from Aurora lambaste our governor and give all the credit on this fine piece of legislation to one individual, and then, in the very next breath, decide to thank people in a bipartisan manner,” Wehrli said, raising his voice as he noted that the site had been there for more than a 100 years. “Everybody in this building, second floor included, wants to do what is right by our veterans.”
Concluding, Wehrli said that Chapa LaVia should keep the rhetoric to herself.
“Stop blaming everything going on around this building on one guy,” Wehrli said in Rauner's defense.
SB 3128 passed 110-3, and the Senate unanimously concurred later that afternoon. The bill moved to the governor's desk for consideration.