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August 25, 2003

Blagojevich Brings End to Privatization of Anna Veterans’ Home
Signs legislation allowing state to assume operations

ANNA, ILL—In order to maintain consistent quality care for aging Illinois veterans, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law legislation that will allow the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs to assume operations of the Anna Veterans Home in Anna, Illinois.


“Under the state’s supervision, the focus at the Anna Veterans Home will be on care for veterans, not on a private company’s bottom line,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “The residents who rely on our veterans homes have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.  It’s our duty to make sure they have a safe, stable place to come in their later years.”


The Anna Veterans Home – which provides skilled nursing care and domiciliary care for 62 residents – is the only one of four veterans homes in Illinois to operate under private contract.  Since opening in 1994, it has undergone three changes in management.


“In the past, the Anna Veterans’ Home has suffered from managerial changes.  One contractor filed for bankruptcy, and the quality of food and service was always an issue.  This new plan will resolve these problems and protect our seniors,” added Blagojevich.


Under the new law, all private contracts will be cancelled and the Anna home’s employees will become state employees.  Under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs oversight, the importance of profit is removed and residents and their families will be able to rely on stable, consistent management.


The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs currently operates three veterans’ homes in Manteno, LaSalle and Quincy. 


House Bill 2983 was sponsored by state Reps. Mike Bost (R-Carbondale) and Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) and state Sens. Larry Woolard (D-Carterville), David Leuchtefeld (R-Okawville) and Gary Forby (D-Benton).


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