Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2369
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Full Text of HB2369  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Counties Code is amended by changing
5Section 5-2006 as follows:
6    (55 ILCS 5/5-2006)  (from Ch. 34, par. 5-2006)
7    Sec. 5-2006. Tax for Veterans Assistance Commission. The
8county board of each county having a population of less than 3
9million in which there is a Veterans Assistance Commission as
10provided in Section 9 of the Military Veterans Assistance Act
11may levy a tax of not to exceed .03% of the assessed value
12annually on all taxable property of the county, for the
13purpose of providing assistance to military veterans and their
14families pursuant to such Act. Whenever not less than 10% of
15the electors of the county petition the county board to levy
16the tax at not to exceed .04% of the assessed value, the county
17board shall certify the proposition to the proper election
18officials who shall submit the proposition at the next general
19election in accordance with the general election law. If a
20majority of the electors vote in favor of the proposition, the
21county board may, annually, levy the tax as authorized. The
22proceeds of any tax so levied shall be used exclusively for the
23assistance purposes authorized thereunder, and a portion



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1thereof may be expended for the salaries or expenses of any
2officers or employees of the Veterans Assistance Commission,
3for the authorized reimbursement of any officer or employee of
4the Veterans Assistance Commission, as provided in Section 10
5of the Military Veterans Assistance Act, or for any other
6expenses incident to the administration of such assistance.
7    The tax shall be separate from all other taxes which the
8county is authorized to levy on the aggregate valuation of the
9property within the county and shall not be included in any tax
10limitation of the rate upon which taxes are required to be
11extended, but shall be excluded therefrom and in addition
12thereto. The tax shall be levied and collected in like manner
13as the general taxes of the county, and, when collected, shall
14be paid into a special fund in the county treasury and used
15only as herein authorized, or disbursed from the county
16treasury of a county in which a properly organized Veterans
17Assistance Commission is authorized under Section 3-11008 of
18this Code.
19    The limitations on tax rates herein provided may be
20increased or decreased under the referendum provisions of the
21General Revenue Law of Illinois.
22    If a county has levied the tax herein authorized or
23otherwise meets the conditions set out in Section 12-21.13 of
24the Illinois Public Aid Code, to qualify for State funds to
25supplement local funds for public purposes under Articles III,
26IV, V, VI, and IX of that Code and otherwise meets the



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1conditions set out in Article XII of that Code for receipt of
2State aid, the Illinois Department of Human Services shall
3allocate and pay to the county such additional sums as it
4determines to be necessary to meet the needs of assistance to
5military veterans and their families in the county and
6expenses incident to the administration of such assistance. In
7counties where a Veterans Assistance Commission has been
8properly created, those County Veterans Assistance Commissions
9shall be in charge of the administration of such assistance
10provided under the Illinois Public Aid Code for military
11veterans and their families.
12(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
13    Section 10. The Military Veterans Assistance Act is
14amended by changing Sections 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10 and by adding
15Sections 9.1, 9.2, and 12 as follows:
16    (330 ILCS 45/1)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3081)
17    Sec. 1. Definitions. As used in this Act:
18    "Veteran service organization" means a post, ship, camp,
19chapter, or detachment of a congressionally chartered or state
20chartered organization that (i) is formed by and for veterans,
21(ii) has a paid membership of at least 15 individuals, and
22(iii) provides responsible aid, assistance, or services to the
23veteran community.
24    "Administrator of military veterans assistance" means the



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1commanders of the various veteran service organizations, the
2superintendent of a County Veterans Assistance Commission, or
3other persons whose duty it is, under the existing statutes,
4to care for, relieve or maintain, wholly or in part, any person
5who may be entitled to such assistance under the statutes of
6the State of Illinois. This Act shall not infringe upon the
7mandated powers and authorities vested in the Illinois
8Department of Veterans' Affairs.
9(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
10    (330 ILCS 45/2)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3082)
11    Sec. 2. The purpose of this Act is, in part, to provide, in
12accordance with this Section, For the just and , necessary,
13and needed assistance and services to of military veterans,
14who served in the Armed Forces of the United States and whose
15last discharge from the service was honorable or general under
16honorable conditions to be eligible for assistance, to their
17families, and to the families of deceased veterans with
18service as described in this Section who need such assistance
19and services. The following actions shall be taken in support
20of that purpose:
21        (1) The supervisor of general assistance or the county
22    board shall provide such sums of money as may be just and
23    necessary to be drawn by the commander, quartermaster or
24    commandant of any veterans service organization, in the
25    city or town, or the superintendent of any Veterans'



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1    Assistance Commission of the county, upon the
2    recommendation of the assistance committee of that
3    veterans service organization or Veterans' Assistance
4    Commission.
5            (A) Funding for Veterans Assistance Commissions
6        may be derived from 3 sources, if applicable:
7                (i) a tax levied under Section 5-2006 of the
8            Counties Code and Section 12-21.13 of the Illinois
9            Public Aid Code;
10                (ii) funds from the county general corporate
11            fund; and
12                (iii) State funds from the Department of Human
13            Services.
14            (B) The minimum amount to be provided annually to
15        Veterans Assistance Commissions is provided in Section
16        12-21.13 of the Illinois Public Aid Code, unless the
17        delegates of the County Veterans Assistance Commission
18        determine that a lesser amount covers the just and
19        necessary sums.
20        (2) If any supervisor of general assistance or county
21    board fails or refuses after such recommendation to
22    provide just and necessary sums of money for such
23    assistance, then the veteran service organization or the
24    superintendent of any Veterans' Assistance Commission
25    located in the district of such supervisor of general
26    assistance or such county board shall apply to the circuit



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1    court of the district or county for relief by mandamus
2    upon the supervisor of general assistance or county board
3    requiring him, her or it to pay, or to appropriate and pay
4    such sums of money, and upon proof made of the justice and
5    necessity of the claim, the circuit court shall grant the
6    sums so requested.
7        (3) Such sums of money shall be drawn in the manner now
8    provided under Section 5-2006 of the Counties Code and
9    Section 12-21.13 of the Illinois Public Aid Code. Orders
10    of commanders, quartermasters, commandants, or
11    superintendents of those veterans service organizations or
12    those Veterans' Assistance Commissions shall be proper
13    warrants for the expenditure of such sums of money.
14(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
15    (330 ILCS 45/8)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3088)
16    Sec. 8. The commander, quartermaster, or commandant of any
17veteran service organization or the superintendent of any
18county Veterans' Assistance Commission of Illinois shall
19annually report to the Governor, on or before the first day of
20January of each year, such portions of the transactions of the
21aforementioned veteran service organization or Veterans
22Assistance Commission relating thereto as the commander or
23superintendent may deem to be of interest to that organization
24and the people of the State. A copy of that report shall be
25provided to the president or chairperson of the county board



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1and shall be made publicly available online.
2(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
3    (330 ILCS 45/9)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3089)
4    Sec. 9. Veterans Assistance Commission.
5    (a) In counties having 2 or more veteran service
6organizations as may be recognized by law, the veteran service
7organizations may come together to form a Veterans Assistance
8Commission of such county. The Veterans Assistance Commission
9of such county may act as the central service office for all
10veterans and their families and for the families of deceased
11veterans. The Commission shall be composed of delegates and
12alternates from a majority of such veteran service
13organizations selected annually as determined by each veteran
14service organization. When so organized a Commission shall be
15clothed with all the powers and may be charged with all the
16duties theretofore devolving upon the different veteran
17service organizations within the county as provided in Section
19        (1) Every January 1, all Veterans Assistance
20    Commissions shall publish a notice to each veteran service
21    organization within their respective county calling on
22    them to select delegates and alternates for that county's
23    Veterans Assistance Commission by the methods provided in
24    this subsection. The Veterans Assistance Commissions shall
25    allow each veteran service organization until March 1 to



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1    respond, at which time those selected and duly appointed
2    delegates and alternates shall begin their term of office
3    with full voting rights. Once selected, delegates and
4    alternates are bound by the Public Officer Prohibited
5    Activities Act.
6        (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), veteran
7    service organizations shall be permitted to select one
8    delegate and one alternate.
9        (3) In counties with 5 or more of the same veteran
10    service organizations, all the constituent veteran service
11    organizations shall be permitted to select up to 5
12    delegates and 5 alternates a single delegate and single
13    alternate to represent that veteran service organization
14    instead of each constituent veteran service organization
15    selecting one delegate and one alternate. For the purposes
16    of meeting the majority requirement of this subsection,
17    when the constituent groups of a veteran service
18    organization choose to select those delegates and
19    alternates, those selected and duly appointed delegates
20    and alternates a single delegate and single alternate, the
21    single delegate and single alternate shall represent the
22    aggregate percentage of the constituent groups.
23        (4) If a veteran service organization serves more than
24    one county, then it shall be permitted to select one
25    delegate and one alternate for the Veterans Assistance
26    Commission in each county in which at least 25% of its



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1    members reside.
2        (5) All undertakings of, or actions taken by, the
3    Commission shall require a vote from a majority of the
4    full commission membership. No committee or other subgroup
5    of delegates and alternates formed by the Commission,
6    whether selected or appointed, may be granted the power or
7    authority to act in the place of or on behalf of the full
8    body of the duly selected or appointed Commission
9    membership.
10        (6) No superintendent or any other employee of the
11    Veterans Assistance Commission may retain the position of
12    delegate or alternate or any voting rights while employed
13    by the Veterans Assistance Commission.
14        (7) No committee or other subgroup of delegates and
15    alternates formed by the Commission, whether selected or
16    appointed, may bar any other duly appointed Commission
17    member from attending or otherwise being present during
18    any closed meetings or sessions of that committee or
19    group.
20        (8) The county may, at its discretion, appoint a
21    representative to the Commission who may attend any public
22    meeting of the Commission. That representative shall be a
23    veteran, may not have voting rights, may not hold any
24    office or title on the Commission, and may not be present
25    during any nonpublic meeting of the Commission, except as
26    authorized in this Act. For matters of executive session,



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1    the non-voting county appointee may attend meetings that
2    are closed in accordance with paragraphs (1), (3), (5),
3    (6), or (11) of subsection (c) of Section 2 of the Open
4    Meetings Act for litigation matters not relating to
5    litigation between the Commission and the County.
6    (b) The Commission and its selected or appointed
7superintendent shall have oversight of the distribution of all
8moneys and supplies appropriated for the benefit of military
9veterans and their families, subject to such rules,
10regulations, administrative procedures or audit reviews as are
11required by this Act and as are necessary as approved by the
12Commission to carry out the spirit and intent of this Act. No
13warrant authorized under this Act may be issued for the
14payment of money without the presentation of an itemized
15statement or claim, approved by the superintendent of the
17    (c) The superintendent of the Veterans Assistance
18Commission, selected, appointed, or hired by the Commission is
19an at-will employee who shall be answerable to, and shall
20report to, the Commission.
21    (d) The superintendent shall be evaluated annually and a
22written report shall be generated. A copy of the report from
23the evaluation shall be provided to the entire Commission
25    (e) A superintendent may be removed from office if, after
26delegates from no less than 3 different veteran service



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1organizations file a written request calling for the
2superintendent's removal, there is a vote from a majority of
3the full Commission membership in favor of such removal.
4    (f) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall establish
5and maintain bylaws that outline the framework, policies, and
6procedures for conducting the business of the Commission and
7for the rules and regulations that apply to its members. Those
8bylaws shall reflect compliance with all relevant laws at the
9time they are established and shall be revised as necessary to
10remain in compliance with current law. The establishment of
11those bylaws, and any revisions thereafter, shall require a
12minimum two-thirds majority vote of approval from a majority
13of the full Commission membership.
14    (g) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall, in writing,
15adopt all applicable policies already established and in place
16in its respective county, including, but not limited to,
17policies related to compensation, employee rights, ethics,
18procurement, and budget, and shall adapt those policies to fit
19its organizational structure. Those policies shall then be
20considered the policies of the Veterans Assistance Commission
21and they shall be implemented and adhered to, accordingly, by
22the superintendent and by the Commission. The Commission shall
23amend its adopted policies whenever a county board amends an
24applicable policy within 60 days of the county board
26    (h) No warrant authorized under this Act may be issued for



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1the payment of money without the presentation of an itemized
2statement or claim, approved by the superintendent of the
3Commission and reported to the full Commission membership.
4    (i) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall perform an
5annual audit in accordance with the Governmental Account Audit
6Act using either the auditing services provided by its
7respective county or the services of an independent auditor
8whose services shall be paid for by the Commission. A copy of
9that audit report shall be provided to the president or
10chairperson of the county board.
11    (j) Veterans Assistance Commissions and county boards
12subject to this Act shall cooperate fully with the boards,
13commissions, agencies, departments, and institutions of the
14State. The funds held and made available by the county, the
15State, or any other source shall be subject to financial and
16compliance audits in accordance with the Illinois State
17Auditing Act.
18    (k) (c) The Veterans Assistance Commission shall be in
19charge of the administration of any benefits provided under
20Articles VI and IX of the Illinois Public Aid Code for military
21veterans and their families.
22    (l) The Veterans Assistance Commission shall represent
23veterans in their application for or attempts to obtain
24benefits and services through State and federal agencies,
25including representing veterans in their appeals of adverse



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1    (m) The superintendent of the Veterans Assistance
2Commission and its employees must comply with the procedures
3and regulations adopted by the Veterans Assistance Commission
4and the regulations of the Department of Human Services.
5    (n) To further the intent of this Act of assisting
6military veterans, this Act is to be construed so that the
7Veterans Assistance Commission shall provide needed services
8to eligible veterans.
9(Source: P.A. 102-484, eff. 8-20-21; 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
10    (330 ILCS 45/9.1 new)
11    Sec. 9.1. Violations.
12    (a) If the Attorney General has reasonable cause to
13believe that there is or has been a violation of Section 8 or 9
14or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10, then the Attorney
15General may commence a civil action in the name of the People
16of the State to enforce the provisions of this Act in any
17appropriate circuit court. The court, in its discretion, may
18exercise all powers necessary, including, but not limited to:
19injunction; mandamus; revocation; forfeiture or suspension of
20any funding, rights, privileges, responsibilities, or support,
21as deemed necessary to ensure compliance; and any other action
22the court may deem appropriate.
23    (b) Prior to initiating a civil action, the Attorney
24General shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine
25whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation



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1is being or has been committed and whether the dispute can be
2resolved without litigation. In conducting this investigation,
3the Attorney General may:
4        (1) require the individual, group, or entity to file a
5    statement or report in writing under oath or otherwise, as
6    to all information the Attorney General may consider
7    necessary;
8        (2) examine under oath any person alleged to have
9    participated in or with knowledge of the alleged
10    violation;
11        (3) issue subpoenas or conduct hearings in aid of any
12    investigation; or
13        (4) examine any record, book, document, account, or
14    paper as the Attorney General may consider necessary.
15    (c) Service by the Attorney General of any notice
16requiring a person to file a statement or report, or of a
17subpoena upon any person, shall be made:
18        (1) personally by delivery of a duly executed copy
19    thereof to the person to be served or, if a person is not a
20    natural person, in the manner provided by the Code of
21    Civil Procedure when a complaint is filed; or
22        (2) by mailing by certified mail a duly executed copy
23    thereof to the person to be served at the person's last
24    known abode or principal place of business within this
25    State.
26    (d) Whenever any person fails to comply with any subpoena



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1issued under this Section or whenever satisfactory copying or
2reproduction of any material requested in an investigation
3cannot be done and the person refuses to surrender the
4material, the Attorney General may file in any appropriate
5circuit court, and serve upon the person, a petition for a
6court order for the enforcement of the subpoena or other
8    Any person who has received a subpoena issued under
9subsection (b) may file in the appropriate circuit court, and
10serve upon the Attorney General, a petition for a court order
11to modify or set aside the subpoena or other request. The
12petition must be filed either: (1) within 20 days after the
13date of service of the subpoena or at any time before the
14return date specified in the subpoena, whichever date is
15earlier, or (2) within a longer period as may be prescribed in
16writing by the Attorney General.
17    The petition shall specify each ground upon which the
18petitioner relies in seeking relief under this subsection and
19may be based upon any failure of the subpoena to comply with
20the provisions of this Section or upon any constitutional or
21other legal right or privilege of the petitioner. During the
22pendency of the petition in the court, the court may stay, as
23it deems proper, the running of the time allowed for
24compliance with the subpoena or other request, in whole or in
25part, except that the petitioner shall comply with any portion
26of the subpoena or other request not sought to be modified or



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1set aside.
2    (e) In the administration of this Act, the Attorney
3General may accept an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with
4respect to any violation of the Act from any person or entity
5who has engaged in, is engaging in, or was about to engage in
6such violation. Evidence of a violation of an Assurance of
7Voluntary Compliance shall be prima facie evidence of a
8violation of this Act in any subsequent proceeding brought by
9the Attorney General against the alleged violator.
10    (330 ILCS 45/9.2 new)
11    Sec. 9.2. Remedies.
12    (a) Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe
13that any person, group, or entity is violating, has violated,
14or is about to violate Section 8 or 9 or subsection (a), (b),
15or (c) of Section 10, the Attorney General may bring an action
16in the name of the People of the State against the person,
17group, or entity to restrain by preliminary or permanent
18injunction the use of any practice that violates Section 8 or 9
19or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10. In such an
20action, the court may award restitution to recoup the loss of
21moneys set aside to provide services to veterans or any other
22relief that the court deems proper.
23    (b) In addition, the court may assess a civil penalty not
24to exceed $5,000 for each violation of Section 8 or 9 or
25subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10.



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1    (c) In any action brought under the provisions of Section
28 or 9 or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10, the
3Attorney General is entitled to recover costs.
4    (d) If a court orders a party to make payments to the
5Attorney General and the payments are to be used for the
6operations of the Office of the Attorney General or a party
7agrees, in an out-of-court settlement, to make payment to the
8Attorney General for the operations of the Office of the
9Attorney General, then moneys shall be deposited into the
10Attorney General Court Ordered and Voluntary Compliance
11Payment Projects Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used,
12subject to appropriation, for the performance of any function
13pertaining to the exercise of the duties of the Attorney
14General, including, but not limited to, enforcement of any law
15of this State and conducting public education programs.
16However, any moneys in the Fund that are required by the court
17or by an agreement to be used for a particular purpose shall be
18used for that purpose.
19    (330 ILCS 45/10)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3090)
20    Sec. 10. Superintendents and counties.
21    (a) The executive powers of the Commission shall be vested
22in a superintendent selected or appointed elected by a vote
23from a majority of the full Commission membership and who
24shall have received an honorable discharge from the armed
25forces of the United States.



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1    (b) Superintendent vacancies shall be filled, whether
2long-term or temporarily, at the next regularly scheduled full
3Commission meeting or within 30 days at a specially convened
4meeting, whichever comes sooner, and shall be selected by a
5vote from a majority of the full Commission membership.
6    (c) Any individual who may be tasked with assuming the
7duties of or may be vested with the executive powers of a
8superintendent, whether as acting or interim superintendent,
9must be selected or appointed by a vote from a majority of the
10full Commission membership and must have received an honorable
11discharge from the armed forces of the United States.
12    (d) The designated superintendent of the Veterans
13Assistance Commission of the county shall, under the direction
14of the Commission, have charge of and maintain an office in the
15county building or a central location within the county, to be
16used solely by the Commission for providing the just,
17necessary, and needed services mandated by law.
18    (e) The county shall provide for the funding of the office
19and provide furnish all necessary furnishings, supplies, and
20services as passed by the county board in its annual
21appropriation, and the county shall provide or fund services,
22including, but not limited to, human resources and payroll
23support; information technology services and equipment;
24telephone services and equipment; printing services and
25equipment; postage costs; and liability insurance. Any
26litigation or legal settlement that has a financial impact to



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1the county is subject to the approval of the county board.
2telephone, printing, stationery, and postage therefor.
3    (f) The county shall also provide to the employees of the
4Commission all benefits available to county employees,
5including, but not limited to, benefits offered through the
6Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund or any other applicable
7county retirement fund; health, life, and dental insurance;
8and workers compensation insurance. Employer contributions and
9costs for these benefits, services, and coverages may come
10from Commission funds. Counties not currently providing
11benefits to Commission employees must comply with this
12subsection within 90 days after the effective date of this
13amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
14    (g) The county board shall, in any county where a Veterans
15Assistance Commission is organized, in addition to sums
16appropriated for these just, necessary, and needed services as
17provided by law and approved by the Commission under this Act,
18appropriate such additional sums, upon recommendation of the
19Veterans Assistance Commission, to properly compensate, in
20accordance with the requirements of subsection (g) of Section
219 and subsection (e) of this Section, the officers and
22employees required to administer such assistance. The county
23board shall also provide funds to the Commission to reimburse
24the superintendent, officers, delegates and employees for
25certain expenses which are approved by the Commission. The
26superintendent and other employees shall be employees of the



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1Veterans Assistance Commission, and no provision in this
2Section or elsewhere in this Act shall be construed to mean
3that they are employees of the county.
4    (h) Superintendents, subject to rules formulated by the
5Commission, shall select, as far as possible, Veteran Service
6Officers and other employees from among military veterans,
7including those who have served or may still be serving as
8members of the Illinois National Guard or a reserve component
9of the armed forces of the United States, who did not receive a
10bad conduct or dishonorable discharge or other equivalent
11discharge thereof, or their spouses, surviving spouses, or
12children. Employees of the Commission shall be at-will
14    (i) In a county with less than 2,000,000 inhabitants, the
15superintendent may, in conformance with subsection (f) of
16Section 3-9005 of the Counties Code, request legal assistance
17from the State's Attorney serving the county in which the
18Veterans Assistance Commission is located, an opinion upon any
19question of law relating to a matter in which the county
20Veterans Assistance Commission may be concerned. With regard
21to matters involving Section 8 or 9 or subsection (a), (b), or
22(c) of Section 10, the State's Attorney shall confer with the
23Office of the Attorney General before rendering an opinion.
24    (j) Superintendents of all counties subject to this Act,
25when required by the Commission, shall give bond in the sum of
26$2,000 for the faithful performance of their duties.



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1    (k) All persons elected or selected or appointed to fill
2positions provided for in this Section shall be exempt from
3the operation and provisions of any civil service act or laws
4of this State, and the secretary of the Commission shall be
5appointed by the superintendent.
6(Source: P.A. 102-56, eff. 7-9-21; 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
7    (330 ILCS 45/12 new)
8    Sec. 12. Home rule. A home rule unit may not operate, act,
9or fail to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the
10provisions of this Act. This Section is a limitation under
11subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois
12Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of
13powers and functions exercised by the State.
14    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
15becoming law.