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February 3, 2023

Veterans Assistance Act Amendment Passes Both Houses –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 11, 2023

Springfield, IL. (ECWd) –

HB2369, which amends the Illinois Military Veterans Assistance Act has passed both Houses with Senate Amendment 1.

This Bill is far-reaching and corrects many mistakes made or unforeseen in last fall’s amendment, and fixes most of the issues we have been addressing for the past 8 or 9 months in county Veterans Assistance Commissions.

In the Bill:

  • Delegates and Alternates each have full voting rights
  • Prohibits any commission or committee from prohibiting any delegate or alternate from attending a closed meeting
  • Delegates and Alternates are subject to the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act
  • Superintendent is an at-will employee
  • Nothing can be voted on except by the full commission
  • No committee or subsidiary body (like an Executive Board) can be granted any power or authority to act in place of or on behalf of the full commission
  • Redefines “Veteran Service Organization”
  • VACs must adopt Ordinances of their respective counties pertaining to purchasing and bidding, ethics, and budget among others
  • Employees must be given the same benefits as county employees of the county they are representing
  • Permits the Attorney General to enforce the various provisions of the Act
  • Restricts Home Rule provisions

It passed with a unanimous concurrence vote in the House.

We would like to thank everyone who assisted in this amendment, specifically the employees of the Will County VAC and the AG’s Office, among others, who recognized there were problems and sought out proper solutions.

It now awaits the Governor’s signature.

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4 Comments
  • Chris
    Posted at 09:00h, 11 January Reply

    I see this will be a political patronage post now with full benefits from the county it is located in. Why is the requirement for a service organization member now left out?

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 10:00h, 11 January Reply

      there was no requirement left out, it merely reestablished what was eliminated in last year’s amendment (in the definition of Veteran Service Organization)

  • Cindy
    Posted at 09:06h, 11 January Reply

    Sounds like a lot of hogwash. Nothing to do with veterans or the benefits they are due. Just more bureaucracy.

    • Rachel Pool
      Posted at 14:32h, 11 January Reply

      These bills have to do with the VAC’s, many of us are the only place where Veterans and their families can get assistance. In my County the board made our office do the Counties General Assistance as well as Veteran Assistance. Minimum wage no insurance I am a Veteran spouse so no VA use for me. County was in control of the funds completely and would not give our Commission our budget requests if we held any bank balance. We were getting $500 – $3500 a year for our Counties Veterans. It has been a battle every year to get anything. Now, we can dictate up to the amount we were supposed to get. We tell the board what the budget is. We are here for Veterans and their families solely. Now I am in the process of becoming a VSO to further assist Veterans. These bills have become lifesavers for our county.

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