Lawmakers demand permanent plan for Quincy

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers are demanding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration deliver a permanent plan of action to control an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills said Tuesday that the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Public Health should deliver a proposal to build a new housing unit at the facility where Legionnaires’ has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents since 2015.

McSweeney spoke at a legislative hearing in Chicago called to examine the outbreak that has sickened dozens. Legionnaires’ is caused by bacteria in water systems.

McSweeney says a new veterans home in Chicago is costing $75 million. He says the state could delay other capital expenditures, get federal help and build a new dorm for less than that and better protect residents.

A federal health official says Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise nationally partly because of an aging population and an aging infrastructure.