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 January 24, 2020. 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. 1911SFC Brian Woods Gold Star and Military Survivors Act To expand survivors’ benefits for spouses and children of service members who die in the line of duty. (Rep. Michael Waltz) Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, 10/22/2019.
  • H.R. 1988Homeless Veteran Families Act To ensure that children of homeless veterans are included in the calculation of the amounts of certain per diem grants. (Rep. David Scott) Recieved in Senate, 7/10/2019.
  • 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, 12/12/2019.
  • H.R. 5045 Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act of 2019 To require the VS to provide child care assistance to veterans receiving training or vocational rehabilitation. (Rep. J. Luis Correa) Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, 12/2/2019.
  • 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 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.
  • 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, 9/11/2019.
  • H.R. 1749PFC Joseph PDwyer 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. 2816Vietnam-Era Veterans Hepatitis C Testing Enhancement Act of 2019 To require the VA to host outreach events with veterans’ organizations to expand hepatitis C (HCV) testing. (Rep. Elise M. Stefanik) Subcommittee on Health, 9/11/2019.
  • H.R. 2982The 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, 9/11/2019.
  • H.R. 3036Breaking Barriers for Women Veterans Act To correct environmental, structural, and staff deficiencies to ensure VA delivery of high-quality health care to women veterans. (Rep. Max Rose) Subcommittee on Health, 6/13/2019.
  • H.R. 3636Caring For Our Women Veterans ActIs To require the VA to report annually to Congress on gender-specific care available at VA facilities. (Rep. Lauren Underwood) subcommittee on health, 9/11/2019.
  • 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. 5411Increasing Access to Mental Health Act of 2019 To direct HHS to establish a Task Force on Local Mental Health Needs. (Rep. Josh Harder) Committee on Energy and Commerce, 12/12/2019.
  • H.R. 5556 Women Veterans TRUST Act To direct the VA to conduct an analysis of the need for women-specific for veterans with drug and alcohol dependency. (Rep. Julia Brownley) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 1/8/2020.
  • H.R. 96Veteran Dental Care Requires the VA to provide dental care for veterans in the same manner as medical services. (Rep. Julia Brownley) Subcommittee on Health, 1/16/2020.
  • H.R.2645Newborn Care Improvement Act of 2019 To improve care provided by the VA to newborn children. (Rep. Clay Higgins) Subcommittee on Health, 9/11/2019.
  • IL SB 2293 Veterans Home Admissions Act Entitles veterans who served in the National Guard or Reserve Forces to admission to an Illinois Veterans Home. (Sens. J. Tracy & D. DeWitte) Referred to Assignments, 10/29/2019.
  • S. 3182Helping Expand and Launch Transitional Health for Women Veterans Act Directs the VA to carry out the Women’s Health Transition Training pilot program through at least FY 2020. (Sen. Dan Sullivan) Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 9/9/2020.

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. 3867Violence Against Women Veterans Act To require the VA to improve services and benefits for veterans who experience domestic violence or sexual assault. (Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez) Subcommittee on Health, 9/11/2019.
  • 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.

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