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. 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 SB 1255Veteran Grant Program Dependent Act. Allows a veteran to transfer educational benefits to a qualified dependent if certain conditions are met. (Sen. Michael E. Hastings) Rules Committee, 5/10/2019.
  • 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. 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.

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.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. 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. 711CARE for Reservists Act of 2019. Expands eligibility for VA mental health services to members of the reserve. (Sen. Jon Tester) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 5/22/2019.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 374Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2019. Requires the VA to have specially trained claims raters processing MST-related claims and military officials to educate service members about VA services for MST survivors at all VA facilities. (Sen. Jon Tester) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/7/2019.
  • S. 1789Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019. To send the most serious charges judge advocates in rank O-6+ with significant experience outside the parties’ chain of command. (Sen. Kristen Gillbrand) Committee on Armed Services, 6/11/2019.

 
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