Governor swings through Metro-East, vows to sign med mal

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 20, 2005, 12:12pm

Governor Blagojevich pictured during the BRAC announcement last month.

Governor Rod Blagojevich vowed he would sign a bill which would cap non-economic damages at $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals while meeting with area mayors at the Collinsville Holiday Inn today.

“I do intend to sign the bill into law once I get it on my desk,” Blagojevich said while meeting with reporters after the meeting.

“They just have not sent it to me yet.”

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville), who accompanied the governor on a swing through the Metro-East, said the legislature has 30 days to send it to the governor.

Blagojevich came to the area to testify before a Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Regional hearing.

Defending Rock Island and Springfield's military bases, which were slated for closure in the last month's BRAC announcement, Blagojevich said the net effect of closing the bases would cost more for the U.S. government.

“The Pentagon talks about saving money, but relocating thousands of people out of the Rock Island Arsenal where they are working effectively, would actually cost more than it saves in both the near and long term,” Blagojevich said at the hearing.

Blagojevich refuted the Department of Defense’s recommendations that would take almost 1,900 jobs from the Rock Island Arsenal and strip the 183rd fighter wing in Springfield of its F-16 aircraft.

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama and many other federal, state and local officials joined Blagojevich at the hearing.

Blagojevich also said that filing a suit against the federal government also is still an option.

“I have talked to (Attorney General) Lisa Madigan, and that option is still on the table,” Blagojevich said.

After leaving Collinsville, Blagojevich traveled to Waterloo to sign several farm bills. He was scheduled to meet with precinct committeemen at Rusty's in Edwardsville.

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