Guest view: Governor is not protecting living residents

July 13, 2013 

I read with great interest about how the governor recently signed a bill into law that would protect disabled adults living at home. The governor is quoted as having said, "Our most vulnerable people deserve the strongest protections."

The residents at Murray Center and their families wish he'd practice what he preaches.

While the bill he signed is great, it is designed to better investigate allegations and suspected cases of abuse. Well, there have been more than allegations and suspicions coming out of the Community Integrated Living Arrangement facilities where the Murray Center patients that are wards of the state have been transferred. There are police reports and hospital reports. There are 911 calls. Where are the investigations, governor?

I can't believe our governor has the nerve to say that he wants to protect our most vulnerable citizens when he's currently doing all he can to ignore them right now. There are documented issues at CILA's in the Metro-East and the governor hasn't addressed them at all. When he and his administration can't even address already-existing issues at the CILAs in St. Clair County and around the state, how can they continue to transfer residents from Murray Center to them?

The bill he recently signed applies to disabled residents living at home. What about those disabled adults that have no families and have to be cared for by the state? They have no one but their government to look out for them, and it's their own government forcing them to leave the only place they can call home. Is this the kind of treatment that will "make Illinois a national leader when it comes to protecting those who need it most"?

I wish the governor was more concerned about the disabled residents of Murray Center and Illinois than about getting feel-good headlines right before he begins his primary election. But, I guess, based off of his comments, that our governor is only concerned about our most vulnerable citizens after they're dead.

Charlie Meier, of Okawville, is state representative for the 108th District.

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