Latest News

State Representative Randy Frese has been tapped to lead debate for the House Republicans on issues concerning Illinois veterans, including the water system upgrades and renovations in progress at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. For the 101st General Assembly, Representative Frese (R-Paloma) will serve as Republican Spokesman on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. 

 “Illinois heroes deserve the very best care we can provide and I am very pleased that I will be able to help lead the House debate and review of the much needed water system upgrades and building and campus renovations that are underway at the Veterans Home. This project must remain a top priority,” Rep. Frese said

For this spring and next, Representative Frese also secured a coveted position on the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee and the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee that gets a first review of bills concerning a wide range of social services and other family and community needs. He said he is also looking forward to serving on the House Child Care Accessibility and Early Childhood Education Committee, the House Labor and Commerce Committee, and the House Health Care Licenses Committee.

“These are critical issues for our local families… better job opportunities, support for our farmers and livestock producers, and a good start for our children. I’m looking forward to getting to work in committees this week to make sure the needs and priorities of our communities have a strong voice in the House,” Rep. Frese said.

Legislation recently signed into law will better help protect employees in the area of discrimination and sexual harassment in Illinois. House Bill 138 was the result of numerous hearings and dozens of hours of testimony by the Illinois House Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Task Force.

 HB 138 include measures to:
• Make the office of Legislative Inspector General (“LIG”) a full time position and require public posting of the position when there is a vacancy. If the office is vacant for more than 6 months, complaints shall be directed to the Inspector General of the Auditor General.
• Extend the time to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights from 180 days to 300 days.
• Allow the LIG to move forward with an investigation regarding a sexual harassment complaint without higher approval.
• Require the LIG or Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) to report disapproval of an investigation request.
• Create optional comprehensive training for legislators and staff. The training would include such things as sexual harassment, workplace civility and discrimination; and clarify that the LIG and LEC continue to have jurisdiction over former members and staff.
• Ensure political State Central Committees implement a sexual harassment policy.
• Require annual reporting regarding statistics, not specifics from the state sexual harassment helpline.
• Create a House rule to encourage legislators to report incidents of sexual harassment to their respective ethics officers. (HR1165)

A full list of all of the reforms included in the bill can be found here.
From the Office of the Governor:

Gov. Rauner signs Quincy Veterans’ Home bills
Continues administration’s commitment to honoring heroes

Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that expands the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy and cuts the red tape on future construction projects, allowing the administration to move quickly to build a new state-of-the-art facility at the campus.

“We’re building a brand new facility and making sure our veterans have a safe place to call home,” Rauner said. “Building this new facility should not be caught up in the bureaucratic process. Our veterans deserve the best. They have fought to secure our freedom and we’re fighting to make sure they have the care they need for generations to come.”

Rauner signed Senate Bill 3128, allowing the state to use the design-build delivery method to renovate, rehabilitate and rebuild the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. This method will eliminate redundant steps in the traditional state construction process, shave months off the overall project time and save taxpayer dollars.

“More than 360 veterans call the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy home and we’re excited about moving forward with this project,” said Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Director Stephen Curda. “This home is a staple in the community and we hope that never changes. We are all proud of this home and just last week, we gave Quincy residents an opportunity to learn more about the new home development process and provide ideas on what it could look like.”

Rauner also signed House Bill 5683, which makes the recently purchased Sycamore nursing facility an official part of the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. Renovations are already underway on the Sycamore unit and are expected to be complete by the end of the year. Securing this unit will ensure continuity of care and temporary housing for veterans while construction on the new facility at the existing campus is ongoing. 

“We continue to move quickly on a number of initiatives to serve our veterans,” said Mike Hoffman, senior adviser to the governor. “This includes the renovation of the Sycamore building, ongoing water management projects, and development of a new master plan for the Quincy campus.”
State legislators applauded today’s actions.

“Securing the design-build contract is one of the final steps to kick-start the Quincy Veterans’ Home $52 million capital development plan,” said Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy. “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 all of our veteran residents and their families. I’m glad to see the governor taking such swift action to begin construction on one of Quincy’s most important landmarks.”

“The heroes who live at the Quincy Veterans’ Home deserve the very best care that can be provided, and today we took a major step in ensuring that will happen,” said Rep. Randy Frese, R-Quincy. “Our veterans and the entire Quincy community are thankful and are looking forward to a remodeled and revitalized Quincy Veterans’ Home.”

“The acquisition of the (Sycamore) transitional facility is an important step toward making sure our veterans receive the best care possible,” said Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo. “I commend not only Gov. Rauner, but the bipartisan working group that identified this as a solution to keeping our veterans in Quincy at a site they call home.”

“This is part of a multi-pronged effort to provide top notch facilities for our state’s veterans in Quincy,” said Rep. Mike McAuliffe, R-Chicago. “It will guarantee that the veterans that are moved to Sycamore during ongoing renovations to Quincy are still seeing the same familiar, caring faces.”
Representative Frese today filed new legislation in the Illinois House to provide approximately $246 million in state capital funding to make needed water system upgrades as well as new construction and improvements at the Quincy Veterans Home in Adams County.

“Our Veterans Home in Quincy is a true jewel, but as with any aging facility major upgrades are needed to keep it that way so we can continue to provide the best care for the heroes that live there,” Representative Frese said. “The funds appropriated in this bill will fund a complete overhaul of the water system to prevent Legionella, and also major building and campus renovations.”

Rep. Frese’s House Bill 5882 is identical to Senate Bill 3611, introduced in the Senate this week by State Senator Jil Tracy. The bills include a $16.1 million appropriation for water system upgrades and $230 million for building renovation, construction, and other campus improvements at the Quincy Veterans Home.

“Earlier this week the Governor announced a $3 million grant to the City of Quincy to build a new water source that will improve water quality for the entire Quincy area, including residents at the Veterans Home. That’s a great start. We have also been working with the Governor’s office on securing this additional funding to make all of the campus repairs and renovations we need. I am very pleased to say that the appropriation has already garnered bi-partisan support and Senator Tracy and I will be working hard in the coming weeks to secure its passage,” Representative Frese said.
Representative Frese, Senator Jil Tracy and Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore this week attended the second in a series of Legislative hearings on recent Legionella cases among residents of the State Veterans Home in Quincy. Addressing the press at the hearing’s conclusion, Rep. Frese  and other elected official stressed that they are working on long-term, bi-partisan solutions that will ensure the highest quality of care for residents, and said he will work this spring to secure capital funding for needed safety improvements at the home. Rep. Frese added that he will also be working to ensure one or more of the future hearings will be held on site at the Quincy Veterans Home.

Click the video below to watch the press conference.

Rep. Frese traveled to Chicago Tuesday to work with other members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to resolve issues and ensure continued quality care for veterans at the Quincy Veterans Home. Watch below.

“Today the Governor painted a very realistic picture of both the progress we’ve recently made and the serious challenges we still face,” said Representative Frese (R-Quincy). “I agree that the pace of reform has been slow, and that’s frustrating. The lack of an agreement on a responsible, balanced budget is unacceptable. But we have made a start in implementing needed efficiencies, and in cutting some red tape that will help support employers that create jobs. In recent months all four legislative leaders, including Speaker Madigan, have spoken on the need for change, and that is certainly reason to be hopeful that we will be able to work together this spring on compromise solutions. Our challenges are serious, but they’re not insurmountable if we’re all working together.”