Policy Tracker

Legislation and trends affecting veterans and military service members.

We track legislative initiatives and trends of interest to active and returning service members in Illinois, their families, the organizations that serve them, and those who advocate for the under-served, including families of the fallen and survivors of military sexual trauma. The status listings below reflect the most recent information available as of July 1, 2019. Legislation is grouped under the broad categories of
Benefits and Services, Healthcare, and MST.

 

BENEFITS AND SERVICES – Veterans and service members can be eligible for a number of benefits related to their service and public benefits that assist them and their families in achieving their highest levels of health and economic security.

  • H.R. 1750Supporting Veteran Families in Need Act. Makes permanent the authority to provide financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing. (Rep. Lee Zeldin) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/13/2019.
  • H.R. 1924Vet Center Childcare Parity Act. To provide child care at Vet Centers as at other VA facilities. (Rep. Susie Lee) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/27/2019.
  • H.R. 4451Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act. Clarifies that veterans receiving housing assistance are eligible for Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program and reauthorizes the program. (Rep. Brad R.Wenstrup) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 5/22/2018.
  • IL HB 3433Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Veterans Pilot Program. Provides for a program to assist veterans in successfully transitioning to civilian life. (Rep. Camille Y. Lilly) Rules Committee, 3/29/2019.
  • IL HB 3508Department of Veteran Affairs Transition. Makes permanent the authority to provide financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing. (Rep. John Connor) Rules Committee, 3/29/2019.
  • S. 1040Immigrant Veterans Eligibility Tracking System Act. Requires Homeland Security to identify aliens serving, or having served, who apply for immigration benefits. (Sen. Tammy Duckworth) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 4/4/2019.
  • S. 1041Veterans Visa and Protection Act of 2019. To allow veterans removed from the United States to return as immigrants. (Sen. Tammy Duckworth) Committee on the Judiciary, 4/4/2019.
  • S. 1118Gold Star Spouses and Spouses of Injured Servicemembers Leasing Relief Expansion Act. Allows spouses of service members who incur catastrophic injury or illness or die while serving to terminate leases. (Sen. Elizabeth Warren) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 4/10/2019.
  • S. 850Highly Rural Veteran Transportation Program Extension Act. Extends authorization of VA transportation grants to veterans service organization. (Sen. Dan Sullivan ) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/14/2019.

HEALTHCARE – Both the VA healthcare system and the community healthcare system are responsible for providing effective, quality, and culturally competent healthcare services for veterans.

  • H.Con.Res.13Recognizing the difficult challenges Black veterans faced when returning home. (Rep. Joyce Beatty) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/4/2019.
  • H.R. 1527Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act. To let veterans unable to live independently be placed in non-VA medical foster homes. (Rep. Captain Higgins) Subcommittee on Health, 3/29/2019.
  • H.R. 1647Veterans Equal Access Act. To obtain input from VA providers on participation in state marijuana programs. (Rep. Earl Blumenauer) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/8/2019.
  • H.R. 1749PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program Act. To fund state and local peer-to-peer mental health programs. (Rep. Lee Zeldin) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/13/2019.
  • H.R. 2184Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act. To improve oversight and evaluation of VA mental health and suicide prevention media outreach campaigns. (Rep. Joe Morelle) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 4/9/2019.
  • H.R. 2191Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act. To ban denial of benefits administered for participating in a state-approved marijuana program. (Rep. Greg Steube) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 4/9/2019.
  • H.R. 3832Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act. To connect VA providers to prescription drug monitoring programs that help identify abuse patterns. (Rep. Neal P. Dunn) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 11/9/2017.
  • H.R. 4334Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017. Requires VA to report yearly on access to gender-specific care under community care contracts and quarterly on environment of care standards for women veterans. (Rep. Luis L. Correa) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 5/22/2018.
  • H.R. 5966Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act. To ensure that VA facilities have the structural characteristics necessary to gender-specific needs. (Rep. Keathing Williams) Subcommittee on Health, 5/24/2018.
  • H.R. 840Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act. To provide child care assistance to veterans receiving VA services. (Rep. Julia Brownley) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/11/2019.
  • S. 1023Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS Act. To furnish hospital care to those exposed to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. (Sen. Debbie Stabenow) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 4/3/2019.
  • S. 318VA Newborn Emergency Treatment Act. Allows VA to furnish medically necessary transportation for newborns. (Sen. Patty Murray) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/4/2019.
  • S. 319Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2019. To improve DoD/VA reproductive assistance to severely wounded, ill, or injured. (Sen. Patty Murray) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/4/2019.
  • S. 835Newborn Care Improvement Act of 2019. To improve VA care for newborns. (Sen. Amy Klobuchar) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/14/2019.

MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT – Just like in civilian society, sexual assault is prevalent in the military and impacts men and women. It is important that our laws work to prevent military sexual trauma, protect survivors, and assist survivors in healing and achieving positive health outcomes.

  • S. 2112Military SAVE Act. For MST survivors to be eligible for care outside the VA; five pilot site to selected. (Sen. Joni Ernst) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 11/9/2017.

 
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