Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0027
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Full Text of HJR0027  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, From 1961 to 1972, the United States military
3conducted a large-scale defoliation program aimed at
4destroying the forest and jungle cover used by enemy North
5Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops fighting against U.S. and South
6Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War; and
7    WHEREAS, The most commonly used, and most effective,
8mixture of herbicides was Agent Orange, named for the orange
9stripe painted on the 55-gallon drums in which the mixture was
10stored; and
11    WHEREAS, Questions regarding Agent Orange arose in the
12United States after an increasing number of returning Vietnam
13veterans and their families began to report a range of
14afflictions, including rashes and other skin irritations,
15miscarriages, psychological symptoms, Type-2 diabetes, birth
16defects in children, and cancers such as Hodgkin's disease,
17prostate cancer, and leukemia; and
18    WHEREAS, Some 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a
19result of exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange; and
20    WHEREAS, In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed into
21law the Agent Orange Act, which mandated that some diseases



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1associated with defoliants (including non-Hodgkin's lymphomas,
2soft tissue sarcomas, and chloracne) be treated as the result
3of wartime service and helped codify the Veterans
4Administration's response to veterans with conditions related
5to their exposure to Agent Orange; and
6    WHEREAS, The federal VA's Agent Orange Registry Health Exam
7alerts veterans to possible long-term health problems that may
8be related to Agent Orange exposure during their military
9service, and the registry data helps the VA understand and
10respond to these health problems more effectively; and
11    WHEREAS, This free comprehensive health exam includes an
12exposure history, medical history, physical exam, and any tests
13if needed while requiring no copayment; therefore, be it
16SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that there is created the Illinois
17Task Force on Agent Orange to investigate and form
18recommendations on how best to communicate with veterans
19affected by Agent Orange concerning the treatment options
20available to them; and be it further
21    RESOLVED, The Task Force shall consist of 9 members as
22follows: (1) one member appointed by The Speaker of the House



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1of Representatives; (2) one member appointed by the Minority
2Leader of the House of Representatives; (3) one member
3appointed by the President of the Senate; (4) one member
4appointed by the Senate Minority leader; (5) the Director of
5the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, who shall act as
6the Chair; (6) one Veterans' Service Officer from the
7Department of Veterans' Affairs, appointed by the Director of
8Veterans' Affairs; (7) one representative from the Department
9of Public Health, appointed by the Director of Public Health;
10(8) one representative from the Secretary of State's Office,
11appointed by the Secretary of State; and (9) one representative
12of local county health departments in Illinois appointed by the
13Director of Public Health; and be it further
14    RESOLVED, The Task Force shall meet periodically at the
15discretion of the Chair; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall
17provide administrative and other support to the Task Force; and
18be it further
19    RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall present a report of its
20findings, which shall include its recommendations for
21legislation, if any, to the Illinois House of Representatives
22and the Senate on or before January 1, 2016.