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August 14, 2022

Will County Veterans Assistance Commission Board Member Qualifications –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 19, 2022

Will Co., IL. (ECWd) –

We will use Will County Veterans Assistance Commission (“VAC”) in this example, but the same applies to all county VACs, and is spelled out in the Illinois Military Veterans Assistance Act.

Currently, the Act defines a Veteran service organization (“VSO”) as: “a post, ship, camp, chapter, or detachment of a congressionally chartered or state-chartered organization.”

Effective January 1, 2023, the following definition is applied to the term “military veterans organization”

  • Sec. 11. The term “military veterans organizations” as used in this Act, shall mean those organizations formed by and for military veterans which are chartered by Congress or which are chartered by the State of Illinois with a paid membership of at least 15 and which provide responsible aid, assistance, or services to the veterans community.
  • For a list of all congressionally chartered VSOs, we turned to 36 United States Code Part B – Organizations
    • From among the congressionally chartered VSOs is The American Legion
    • For a list of all state-chartered VSOs, we could find nothing.
    • The Congressional Research Service also published a report on VSOs (here).

Membership of the County Veterans Assistance Commission:

  • Annually, each congressionally or stat (See Section 9(a)(1)) -chartered VSO of the county shall appoint a delegate and alternate to compose the commission – these delegates or alternates need not be veterans, they only need to be appointed by an eligible VSO (See VACGC v Grundy County, 3d Appellate Court, 2015 and 2016)
  • If a VSO serves more than one county, it may select a delegate and alternate for each county in which at least 25% of its members reside

Powers and Duties of the Commission and of the Superintendent are found in Sections 2, 9, and 10 (committees/executive boards of the Commission possess no decision-making powers).

The bottom line is:

  • on board member qualifications (delegates and alternates), is that they must be nominated by a Veterans Service Organization recognized as such under the definition of a VSO found in the Military Veterans Assistance Act.
  • “The Commission” makes decisions, not a committee or special executive board of the Commission.
  • The Supervisor has powers granted by the Act and by the Commission (provided the Commission is not gifting their powers to the Superintendent).

More on this subject in later articles.

 

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