Legislative report April 2023
On April 27th the Illinois General Assembly Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees met.
Our five pieces of legislation in the Senate moved to a second reading on 2 May 2023.
The Fort Sheridan land transfer bill HB1635. Also moved to a third reading in the Senate.
In the House veterans affairs committee SB 2005, priority housing for homeless
veterans was also moved to a second reading in the house, having previously passed the senate.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT SUBMITTED A WITNESS SLIP (WS) SUPPORTING LEGISLATION!!! If you and your families did not submit a WS, please review the ILGA Website (Link: ilga.gov ) and submit. WS’s mean a lot and are a very important part of the legislative process.
Below are the specific bill and corresponding Witness Slip numbers.
- SR0066: atomic war veterans day, -Proponent 200 / Opponent 0 / No position 1
- HB0925: VSO State Charter - politico, national political, Proponent 171 / Opponent 0 / No position 2
- HB2500: service dog fee, waiver, -Proponent 172 / Opponent 1 / No position 1
- HB2856: vital records, veterans death certificate, - Proponent 170 / Opponent 3 / No position 5
- HB3295: dependents fee, waiver, - Proponent 173 / Opponent 2 / No position 1
As the General Assembly comes to a close for this session I urge all members to check out the VFW Illinois legislative page for updates. With only 2 hours notice on Amendment 2 we had to get the Major Veterans Associations in Illinois on board for witness slips. What we need is YOU the veteran to call your Senator and Representatives District Office and inform on veterans issues. They are not veterans, you are their resource. We can not progress without your supporting us, unless I liven their district they don’t talk to me without you.
On 30 June the Director of Revenue for state Illinois will issue a report on the impact of the disabled veterans homestead exemption on counties tax levy. Saint Clair county is requesting legislation to recognize those with honorable discharge, who have a VA disability versus those with less than honorable discharge and a VA disability. The county reported that the homestead exemption has had an economic impact on the county budget.
On the Federal side I have had conversation with Director Prince and Rep. Mike Bost staff on the Guard Reserve Retiree Bill for title 38 status. After speaking with them I spoke with Cassandra Alvarez who oversees the per diem paid to State Veteran Homes, and she walked me through Title 38, Section 17.36 and we added (b) (8) Veterans who have retired from the guard and reserve without active duty and qualify under their states veterans emergency assistance.
I have been told by VA Staffers that this should do it. My thanks to Superintendent Mike Iwanicki of McHenry County, IL who implemented the emergency veterans assistance for Guard / Reserve in his county.
My congrats to IVAC chairman Keith Wetherell, Ex Director AmVets and vice chair, Bob Tyler, MOAA Council President on completion of their first meeting of the Illinois veterans advisory Council.
I did make two recommendations at the IVAC meeting one to urge the Director to look at a mobile office, to serve the counties of Southern Illinois who do not have a permanent IDVA office, and urge the Director to have Metro give reduce fares for veterans.
Assistant Chairmen Department Legislative Committee