Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter            September 2013

2013 Illinois Veterans' Bills


This year's legislative session in Springfield saw strong action on behalf of Illinois veterans.  This summer, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a number of bills that build on his agenda to make Illinois the best state for veterans.


On Independence Day at Arlington Heights, he signed bills helping more service members qualify for employment as police officers, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and commercial vehicle drivers.


In August, the Governor signed 6 veteran-related bills during events at Hero Street in Silvis and at Veterans' Day at the State Fair.  Four days later in Chicago, he signed House Bill 3111 - the Access to Justice Act - which was championed through the General Assembly by the Illinois Supreme Court.  This new law provides a pilot program for a veteran legal assistance hotline, increasing meaningful access to legal information and representation for service members and veterans statewide. 


"We are pleased with all these new laws, and especially the Access to Justice Act, which strengthens Illinois' support for veterans across the state," said Erica Borggren, Director, IDVA. "We appreciate the General Assembly's efforts and thank Gov. Pat Quinn for his leadership and longstanding commitment to serving, equipping, and honoring our veterans."


Significant action by Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly includes: 



Gov. Quinn Announces $47.5 Million Funding for Chicago Veterans Home



Governor Pat Quinn announced the release of $47.5 million from his Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to complete the funding needed to build the new Illinois Veterans' Home at Chicago. The funds will combine with $23 million released in previous years to build the $70.5 million facility. 


The Chicago Home will be built on 7.8 acres of land near  the Hines VA Hospital, with good accessibility to public transportation. Units will provide 40 special care rooms for Alzheimer's and dementia, plus 160 long term skilled care rooms for veterans.  The five-story home will feature single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms, and common areas for dining and meeting with visitors. The facility will be built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards, a testament to its energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design. 


Outreach Programs on Sept. 5 and 10 will encourage veteran-owned businesses to submit bids for the construction project, which will begin in 2014, and underscore Governor Quinn's commitment to support those who have sacrificed for our country. The events will inform veteran-owned businesses how to get certified as veteran-owned contractors, sub-contractors or supplier businesses so they may be considered for participation in the construction project, which has specific veteran and minority business participation goals. Immediately following these outreach events, the Capital Development Board will host pre-bid meetings to discuss the procurement process in detail. These pre-bid meetings are a great opportunity for veteran-owned businesses to network with contractors in order to communicate their company's services and status as a veteran-owned business and learn about the project itself.

Congrats to Blue Island, Illinois

The Veterans Day National Committee has selected Blue Island as a regional site for the celebration of Veterans Day 2013. Blue Island is the only regional site selected thus far in Illinois and one of only 65 in the entire nation.  The American Legion Post 50, Blue Island, is taking a leading role in planning this event.  

The Veterans Day National Committee, comprised of various national veterans and military organizations, selects a number of regional sites for Veterans Day observances throughout the country. From stirring parades and ceremonies, to military exhibits and tributes to distinguished veterans, these events serve as models for other communities to follow in planning their own observances.  Congrats to Blue Island - we know you'll do a great job!

                Illinois State Fairs
 Veterans' Day and

       Veterans of the Month


For U.S. Navy veteran and long-time volunteer in the Springfield area's veteran community Linda Kay Crites, Veterans' Day at the Illinois State Fair 

should always have a special meaning. It's not an everyday event to be named Illinois Veteran of the Month (July 2013) and to be the Grand Marshal of the State Fair Parade.  We thank Ms Crites for her service while in the Navy, as well as for all her contributions to the veteran community since then.


The Du Quoin State Fair offered a chance to recognize and thank another veteran for an amazing 24 years of volunteer service.  U.S. Air Force veteran Raymond Batty, one of the key volunteers at the Gen. John A. Logan Museum in his hometown of Murphysboro, has given of his time and skill as a volunteer jack-of-all trades for over two decades.  Named the Illinois Veteran of the Month for August 2013, Batty said this award brings his career full circle, as he was recognized as Airman of the Month during his time in service near the end of the Korean War.


The Illinois Veteran of the Month Award is presented to veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military and make a real difference in the lives of others. To nominate a veteran for consideration, please visit.

Your IDVA Calendar  


Sept. 7     Veterans on Parade - Marion, IL   


Sept. 11   Patriot Day - 9/11 


Sept. 12   Marion VA Medical - Homeless Stand Down Marion, IL


Sept. 16   Evansville Outpatient Clinic - Homeless Vet Stand Down  - Evansville, IL 


Oct. 3       Veteran/Military Job Fair - Great Lakes, IL


Oct. 4       Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair - Aurora, IL


Oct. 24     RecruitMilitary Veteran Job Fair - Chicago 


Oct. 28     National Career Fair Schaumburg, IL


 National Career Fair - St. Louis, MO


Nov. 6      Southwestern Illinois College Veterans Job Fair - Belleville, IL


Nov. 9     Veterans' Day - National/Regional  - Blue Island, IL  


Nov. 11    Veterans Day 

Get (Better) Connected! 


Our newsletter comes out only once every month, so how do you get up-to-date news and information about events, hiring fairs, veterans' issues, opportunities?  Join us on social media and keep in touch:

Join the vibrant and rapidly growing FaceBook community on Illinois Veterans, Illinois Women Veterans or our FB homepage, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Or, if you like getting things in short, 140 character bursts there's always the IDVA's Twitter feed. Our facebook feed is set to cross-walk important posts, so subscribers can get all, some or a little of the information they need.  


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