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 November 14, 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.

  • IL HB 3017  Veterans Cyber Academy Pilot Program To provide veterans with access to cybersecurity training and certification. (Rep. Joyce Mason) Rules Committee, 3/29/2019.
  • 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.
  • IL HB1652Service Member Expedited License Act Expidites temporary occupational/professional licenses for military service members and spoused licensed to practice in other states. (Rep. LaToya Greenwood) Public Act 101-0240, 8/16/2019.
  • 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 SB 1907Higher Ed In-State Tuition To deem persons on active military duty or receiving veterans’ education benefits Illinois residenta for tuition purposes. (Sen. Cristina Castro)Public Act 101-0424, 8/16/2019.
  • 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. 2072Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019 To increase compensation for service-connected disabilities and for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. (Sen. Jonny Isakson) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 7/10/2019.

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. 1801Warrior Wellness Act To create DoD medication monitoring programs and a strategy to find and retain more mental health professionals. (Rep. Lloyd Smucker) Subcommittee on Military Personnel, 3/15/2019.
  • 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. 2359Whole Veteran Act To require the Department of Veterans Affairs to report on implementation of its whole health approach to care. (Rep. Raul Ruiz) Received in the Senate,  5/22/2019.
  • H.R. 2982 Women Veterans Health Care Accountability Act To identify and remedy barriers women veterans face when trying to access VA health care. (Rep. Joe. Cunningham) Subcommittee on Health, 6/13/2019.
  • H.R. 3036Breaking Barriers for Women Veterans Act To correct deficiencies to ensure VA’s delivery of high-quality health care to women veterans. (Rep. Max Rose) Committee on Armed Services, 6/13/2019.
  • H.R. 4137Jennifer Kepner HOPE Act To make veterans who served at locations with an open air burn pit be eligible for VA medical care. (Rep. Raul Ruiz) Subcommittee on Health, 8/22/2019.
  • 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 woundedillor injured. (Sen. Patty Murray) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 2/4/2019.
  • S. 711 CARE for Reservists Act of 2019 Expands eligibility for VA mental health services to members of the reserve. (Sen. Jon Tester)Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,  05/22/2019.
  • S. 835Newborn Care Improvement Act of 2019 To improve VA care for newborns. (Sen. Amy Klobuchar) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 3/14/2019.
  • S.2216TEAM Veteran Caregivers Act To make needed improvements to the VA’s Comprehensive Caregiver Support Program. (Sen. Gary Peters) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 7/23/2019.

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.

  • H.R. 713(Beneficiary travel for veterans seeking treatment for MST) To make veterans seeking treatment or care for MST in specialized programs at VA facilities eligible for beneficiary travel. (Rep. Joe. Cunningham) House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 1/23/2019.
  • S. 1789 Military 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 E Gillbrand) Committee on Armed Services, 6/11/2019.
  • 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.

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