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Thursday, April 5, 2018 12:06 am

Cleaning house

RIP, Grape and Wine Resources Council. So long, Offshore Wind Energy Economic Development Task Force. Hit the road, Manufactured Home Quality Assurance Board. These are just some of the government bodies created by the Illinois General Assembly that are heretofore no more, thanks to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who last week eliminated 19 state boards and commissions by executive order. The bodies eliminated by the governor have been inactive for at least five years, according to Rauner’s office, and this is only the beginning. The governor, according to a press release from his office, plans to eliminate more than 100 unneeded boards and commissions in the coming months. Eight of the 19 bodies squashed by Rauner have never issued reports or taken any action, so far as the governor’s office was able to determine. The Sorry Works! Pilot Program Committee is one. Aimed at helping figure out ways for medical practitioners to say “sorry” when they screw up, the committee was created in 2005 by a statute found to be unconstitutional. “Under the program, participating hospitals and physicians shall promptly acknowledge and apologize for mistakes in patient care and promptly offer fair settlements,” the legislation reads in part. “Participating hospitals shall encourage patients and families to retain their own legal counsel to ensure that their rights are protected and to help facilitate negotiations for fair settlements.” Hospitals and doctors were supposed to tell the committee malpractice expenses (including verdicts, settlements and litigation costs) going back five years so that an average per-case cost could be determined, and if the cost of handling cases through a kinder, gentler way than litigation exceeded the costs of handling things the old-fashioned way, hospitals were supposed to apply for state grants to make folks whole and happy. Amazing, really, that this hasn’t caught on.

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