Rauner enacts legislation to streamline services for veterans

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On August 12, 2018, Governor Bruce Rauner signed six pieces of legislation benefitting veterans. (Photo provided

Eases ID card and license plate process, supports homeless veterans, dedicates GI Bill of Rights Day, and more

information provided by the Office of the Governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 13, 2018) — Governor Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that streamlines veteran identification services and makes it easier for homeless veterans to access needed medical benefits. Rauner also made November 4 GI Bill of Rights Day to pay tribute to the American Legion committee, chaired by the 29th Governor of Illinois, that wrote the historic Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944.

“We should seize every opportunity to streamline services to better honor and support those who selflessly gave so much to our country,” Rauner said. “Providing a free medical record for homeless veterans will help them more easily access the critical services and benefits they earned, and the ID designations and license plates represent tokens of our gratitude for the monumental sacrifices made by Illinois veterans to protect our freedoms.”

To make it easier for veterans to acquire the benefits they deserve, Rauner enacted HB 4848, requiring health care providers to provide one free, complete copy of a patient’s medical records if the patient is an indigent homeless veteran.

Also among the bills was HB 4332, legislation expanding acceptable forms of proof needed to obtain a veteran’s designation on identification cards, simplifying the process for Illinois veterans.

Rauner also signed into law HB 4576 and SB 2225, allowing combat veterans and veterans who earned the Southeast Asia Service Medal during Operation Desert Storm to have the feat reflected on their auto license plates.

“The Veterans of Desert Storm and Desert Shield deserve this recognition for their service to our country and our state,” said Representative Jerry Long, R-Streator. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle were thrilled to sign on as co-sponsors when it was first introduced.”

“I want to thank one of my constituents who served in Operation Desert Storm and who brought this idea forward,” State Senator Sue Rezin, R-Morris said. “I want to thank all our veterans for their service, selflessness, and bravery. You are the backbone of our great country.”

In addition to the veterans designation bills, Rauner enacted HB 4954, providing that each year, the 4th of November be observed throughout the state as GI Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 1944 landmark legislation that provided benefits to World War II veterans.

Rauner also signed into law HB 4849, allowing the National Guard Construction Fund to be used for all construction costs, including maintenance and repairs, and ensuring the Illinois Department of Military Affairs is federally compliant in distributing funds for construction projects.