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


Sen. Craig Wilcox

Filed: 1/4/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 2369 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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



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1board shall certify the proposition to the proper election
2officials who shall submit the proposition at the next general
3election in accordance with the general election law. If a
4majority of the electors vote in favor of the proposition, the
5county board may, annually, levy the tax as authorized. The
6proceeds of any tax so levied shall be used exclusively for the
7assistance purposes authorized thereunder, and a portion
8thereof may be expended for the salaries or expenses of any
9officers or employees of the Veterans Assistance Commission,
10for the authorized reimbursement of any officer or employee of
11the Veterans Assistance Commission, as provided in Section 10
12of the Military Veterans Assistance Act, or for any other
13expenses incident to the administration of such assistance.
14    The tax shall be separate from all other taxes which the
15county is authorized to levy on the aggregate valuation of the
16property within the county and shall not be included in any tax
17limitation of the rate upon which taxes are required to be
18extended, but shall be excluded therefrom and in addition
19thereto. The tax shall be levied and collected in like manner
20as the general taxes of the county, and, when collected, shall
21be paid into a special fund in the county treasury and used
22only as herein authorized, or disbursed from the county
23treasury of a county in which a properly organized Veterans
24Assistance Commission is authorized under Section 3-11008 of
25this Code.
26    The limitations on tax rates herein provided may be



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1increased or decreased under the referendum provisions of the
2General Revenue Law of Illinois.
3    If a county has levied the tax herein authorized or
4otherwise meets the conditions set out in Section 12-21.13 of
5the Illinois Public Aid Code, to qualify for State funds to
6supplement local funds for public purposes under Articles III,
7IV, V, VI, and IX of that Code and otherwise meets the
8conditions set out in Article XII of that Code for receipt of
9State aid, the Illinois Department of Human Services shall
10allocate and pay to the county such additional sums as it
11determines to be necessary to meet the needs of assistance to
12military veterans and their families in the county and
13expenses incident to the administration of such assistance. In
14counties where a Veterans Assistance Commission has been
15properly created, those County Veterans Assistance Commissions
16shall be in charge of the administration of such assistance
17provided under the Illinois Public Aid Code for military
18veterans and their families.
19(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
20    Section 10. The Military Veterans Assistance Act is
21amended by changing Sections 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10 and by adding
22Sections 9.1, 9.2, and 12 as follows:
23    (330 ILCS 45/1)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3081)
24    Sec. 1. Definitions. As used in this Act:



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1    "Veteran service organization" means a post, ship, camp,
2chapter, or detachment of a congressionally chartered or state
3chartered organization that (i) is formed by and for veterans,
4(ii) has a paid membership of at least 15 individuals, and
5(iii) provides responsible aid, assistance, or services to the
6veteran community.
7    "Administrator of military veterans assistance" means the
8commanders of the various veteran service organizations, the
9superintendent of a County Veterans Assistance Commission, or
10other persons whose duty it is, under the existing statutes,
11to care for, relieve or maintain, wholly or in part, any person
12who may be entitled to such assistance under the statutes of
13the State of Illinois. This Act shall not infringe upon the
14mandated powers and authorities vested in the Illinois
15Department of Veterans' Affairs.
16(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
17    (330 ILCS 45/2)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3082)
18    Sec. 2. The purpose of this Act is, in part, to provide, in
19accordance with this Section, For the just and , necessary,
20and needed assistance and services to of military veterans,
21who served in the Armed Forces of the United States and whose
22last discharge from the service was honorable or general under
23honorable conditions to be eligible for assistance, to their
24families, and to the families of deceased veterans with
25service as described in this Section who need such assistance



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



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1        (2) If any supervisor of general assistance or county
2    board fails or refuses after such recommendation to
3    provide just and necessary sums of money for such
4    assistance, then the veteran service organization or the
5    superintendent of any Veterans' Assistance Commission
6    located in the district of such supervisor of general
7    assistance or such county board shall apply to the circuit
8    court of the district or county for relief by mandamus
9    upon the supervisor of general assistance or county board
10    requiring him, her or it to pay, or to appropriate and pay
11    such sums of money, and upon proof made of the justice and
12    necessity of the claim, the circuit court shall grant the
13    sums so requested.
14        (3) Such sums of money shall be drawn in the manner now
15    provided under Section 5-2006 of the Counties Code and
16    Section 12-21.13 of the Illinois Public Aid Code. Orders
17    of commanders, quartermasters, commandants, or
18    superintendents of those veterans service organizations or
19    those Veterans' Assistance Commissions shall be proper
20    warrants for the expenditure of such sums of money.
21(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
22    (330 ILCS 45/8)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3088)
23    Sec. 8. The commander, quartermaster, or commandant of any
24veteran service organization or the superintendent of any
25county Veterans' Assistance Commission of Illinois shall



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1annually report to the Governor, on or before the first day of
2January of each year, such portions of the transactions of the
3aforementioned veteran service organization or Veterans
4Assistance Commission relating thereto as the commander or
5superintendent may deem to be of interest to that organization
6and the people of the State. A copy of that report shall be
7provided to the president or chairperson of the county board
8and shall be made publicly available online.
9(Source: P.A. 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
10    (330 ILCS 45/9)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3089)
11    Sec. 9. Veterans Assistance Commission.
12    (a) In counties having 2 or more veteran service
13organizations as may be recognized by law, the veteran service
14organizations may come together to form a Veterans Assistance
15Commission of such county. The Veterans Assistance Commission
16of such county may act as the central service office for all
17veterans and their families and for the families of deceased
18veterans. The Commission shall be composed of delegates and
19alternates from a majority of such veteran service
20organizations selected annually as determined by each veteran
21service organization. When so organized a Commission shall be
22clothed with all the powers and may be charged with all the
23duties theretofore devolving upon the different veteran
24service organizations within the county as provided in Section



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1        (1) Every January 1, all Veterans Assistance
2    Commissions shall publish a notice to each veteran service
3    organization within their respective county calling on
4    them to select delegates and alternates for that county's
5    Veterans Assistance Commission by the methods provided in
6    this subsection. The Veterans Assistance Commissions shall
7    allow each veteran service organization until March 1 to
8    respond, at which time those selected and duly appointed
9    delegates and alternates shall begin their term of office
10    with full voting rights. Once selected, delegates and
11    alternates are bound by the Public Officer Prohibited
12    Activities Act.
13        (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), veteran
14    service organizations shall be permitted to select one
15    delegate and one alternate.
16        (3) In counties with 5 or more of the same veteran
17    service organizations, all the constituent veteran service
18    organizations shall be permitted to select up to 5
19    delegates and 5 alternates a single delegate and single
20    alternate to represent that veteran service organization
21    instead of each constituent veteran service organization
22    selecting one delegate and one alternate. For the purposes
23    of meeting the majority requirement of this subsection,
24    when the constituent groups of a veteran service
25    organization choose to select those delegates and
26    alternates, those selected and duly appointed delegates



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1    and alternates a single delegate and single alternate, the
2    single delegate and single alternate shall represent the
3    aggregate percentage of the constituent groups.
4        (4) If a veteran service organization serves more than
5    one county, then it shall be permitted to select one
6    delegate and one alternate for the Veterans Assistance
7    Commission in each county in which at least 25% of its
8    members reside.
9        (5) All undertakings of, or actions taken by, the
10    Commission shall require a vote from a majority of the
11    full commission membership. No committee or other subgroup
12    of delegates and alternates formed by the Commission,
13    whether selected or appointed, may be granted the power or
14    authority to act in the place of or on behalf of the full
15    body of the duly selected or appointed Commission
16    membership.
17        (6) No superintendent or any other employee of the
18    Veterans Assistance Commission may retain the position of
19    delegate or alternate or any voting rights while employed
20    by the Veterans Assistance Commission.
21        (7) No committee or other subgroup of delegates and
22    alternates formed by the Commission, whether selected or
23    appointed, may bar any other duly appointed Commission
24    member from attending or otherwise being present during
25    any closed meetings or sessions of that committee or
26    group.



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1        (8) The county may, at its discretion, appoint a
2    representative to the Commission who may attend any public
3    meeting of the Commission. That representative shall be a
4    veteran, may not have voting rights, may not hold any
5    office or title on the Commission, and may not be present
6    during any nonpublic meeting of the Commission, except as
7    authorized in this Act. For matters of executive session,
8    the non-voting county appointee may attend meetings that
9    are closed in accordance with paragraphs (1), (3), (5),
10    (6), or (11) of subsection (c) of Section 2 of the Open
11    Meetings Act for litigation matters not relating to
12    litigation between the Commission and the County.
13    (b) The Commission and its selected or appointed
14superintendent shall have oversight of the distribution of all
15moneys and supplies appropriated for the benefit of military
16veterans and their families, subject to such rules,
17regulations, administrative procedures or audit reviews as are
18required by this Act and as are necessary as approved by the
19Commission to carry out the spirit and intent of this Act. No
20warrant authorized under this Act may be issued for the
21payment of money without the presentation of an itemized
22statement or claim, approved by the superintendent of the
24    (c) The superintendent of the Veterans Assistance
25Commission, selected, appointed, or hired by the Commission is
26an at-will employee who shall be answerable to, and shall



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1report to, the Commission.
2    (d) The superintendent shall be evaluated annually and a
3written report shall be generated. A copy of the report from
4the evaluation shall be provided to the entire Commission
6    (e) A superintendent may be removed from office if, after
7delegates from no less than 3 different veteran service
8organizations file a written request calling for the
9superintendent's removal, there is a vote from a majority of
10the full Commission membership in favor of such removal.
11    (f) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall establish
12and maintain bylaws that outline the framework, policies, and
13procedures for conducting the business of the Commission and
14for the rules and regulations that apply to its members. Those
15bylaws shall reflect compliance with all relevant laws at the
16time they are established and shall be revised as necessary to
17remain in compliance with current law. The establishment of
18those bylaws, and any revisions thereafter, shall require a
19minimum two-thirds majority vote of approval from a majority
20of the full Commission membership.
21    (g) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall, in writing,
22adopt all applicable policies already established and in place
23in its respective county, including, but not limited to,
24policies related to compensation, employee rights, ethics,
25procurement, and budget, and shall adapt those policies to fit
26its organizational structure. Those policies shall then be



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1considered the policies of the Veterans Assistance Commission
2and they shall be implemented and adhered to, accordingly, by
3the superintendent and by the Commission. The Commission shall
4amend its adopted policies whenever a county board amends an
5applicable policy within 60 days of the county board
7    (h) No warrant authorized under this Act may be issued for
8the payment of money without the presentation of an itemized
9statement or claim, approved by the superintendent of the
10Commission and reported to the full Commission membership.
11    (i) Each Veterans Assistance Commission shall perform an
12annual audit in accordance with the Governmental Account Audit
13Act using either the auditing services provided by its
14respective county or the services of an independent auditor
15whose services shall be paid for by the Commission. A copy of
16that audit report shall be provided to the president or
17chairperson of the county board.
18    (j) Veterans Assistance Commissions and county boards
19subject to this Act shall cooperate fully with the boards,
20commissions, agencies, departments, and institutions of the
21State. The funds held and made available by the county, the
22State, or any other source shall be subject to financial and
23compliance audits in accordance with the Illinois State
24Auditing Act.
25    (k) (c) The Veterans Assistance Commission shall be in
26charge of the administration of any benefits provided under



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1Articles VI and IX of the Illinois Public Aid Code for military
2veterans and their families.
3    (l) The Veterans Assistance Commission shall represent
4veterans in their application for or attempts to obtain
5benefits and services through State and federal agencies,
6including representing veterans in their appeals of adverse
8    (m) The superintendent of the Veterans Assistance
9Commission and its employees must comply with the procedures
10and regulations adopted by the Veterans Assistance Commission
11and the regulations of the Department of Human Services.
12    (n) To further the intent of this Act of assisting
13military veterans, this Act is to be construed so that the
14Veterans Assistance Commission shall provide needed services
15to eligible veterans.
16(Source: P.A. 102-484, eff. 8-20-21; 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
17    (330 ILCS 45/9.1 new)
18    Sec. 9.1. Violations.
19    (a) If the Attorney General has reasonable cause to
20believe that there is or has been a violation of Section 8 or 9
21or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10, then the Attorney
22General may commence a civil action in the name of the People
23of the State to enforce the provisions of this Act in any
24appropriate circuit court. The court, in its discretion, may
25exercise all powers necessary, including, but not limited to:



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1injunction; mandamus; revocation; forfeiture or suspension of
2any funding, rights, privileges, responsibilities, or support,
3as deemed necessary to ensure compliance; and any other action
4the court may deem appropriate.
5    (b) Prior to initiating a civil action, the Attorney
6General shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine
7whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation
8is being or has been committed and whether the dispute can be
9resolved without litigation. In conducting this investigation,
10the Attorney General may:
11        (1) require the individual, group, or entity to file a
12    statement or report in writing under oath or otherwise, as
13    to all information the Attorney General may consider
14    necessary;
15        (2) examine under oath any person alleged to have
16    participated in or with knowledge of the alleged
17    violation;
18        (3) issue subpoenas or conduct hearings in aid of any
19    investigation; or
20        (4) examine any record, book, document, account, or
21    paper as the Attorney General may consider necessary.
22    (c) Service by the Attorney General of any notice
23requiring a person to file a statement or report, or of a
24subpoena upon any person, shall be made:
25        (1) personally by delivery of a duly executed copy
26    thereof to the person to be served or, if a person is not a



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1    natural person, in the manner provided by the Code of
2    Civil Procedure when a complaint is filed; or
3        (2) by mailing by certified mail a duly executed copy
4    thereof to the person to be served at the person's last
5    known abode or principal place of business within this
6    State.
7    (d) Whenever any person fails to comply with any subpoena
8issued under this Section or whenever satisfactory copying or
9reproduction of any material requested in an investigation
10cannot be done and the person refuses to surrender the
11material, the Attorney General may file in any appropriate
12circuit court, and serve upon the person, a petition for a
13court order for the enforcement of the subpoena or other
15    Any person who has received a subpoena issued under
16subsection (b) may file in the appropriate circuit court, and
17serve upon the Attorney General, a petition for a court order
18to modify or set aside the subpoena or other request. The
19petition must be filed either: (1) within 20 days after the
20date of service of the subpoena or at any time before the
21return date specified in the subpoena, whichever date is
22earlier, or (2) within a longer period as may be prescribed in
23writing by the Attorney General.
24    The petition shall specify each ground upon which the
25petitioner relies in seeking relief under this subsection and
26may be based upon any failure of the subpoena to comply with



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1the provisions of this Section or upon any constitutional or
2other legal right or privilege of the petitioner. During the
3pendency of the petition in the court, the court may stay, as
4it deems proper, the running of the time allowed for
5compliance with the subpoena or other request, in whole or in
6part, except that the petitioner shall comply with any portion
7of the subpoena or other request not sought to be modified or
8set aside.
9    (e) In the administration of this Act, the Attorney
10General may accept an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with
11respect to any violation of the Act from any person or entity
12who has engaged in, is engaging in, or was about to engage in
13such violation. Evidence of a violation of an Assurance of
14Voluntary Compliance shall be prima facie evidence of a
15violation of this Act in any subsequent proceeding brought by
16the Attorney General against the alleged violator.
17    (330 ILCS 45/9.2 new)
18    Sec. 9.2. Remedies.
19    (a) Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe
20that any person, group, or entity is violating, has violated,
21or is about to violate Section 8 or 9 or subsection (a), (b),
22or (c) of Section 10, the Attorney General may bring an action
23in the name of the People of the State against the person,
24group, or entity to restrain by preliminary or permanent
25injunction the use of any practice that violates Section 8 or 9



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1or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10. In such an
2action, the court may award restitution to recoup the loss of
3moneys set aside to provide services to veterans or any other
4relief that the court deems proper.
5    (b) In addition, the court may assess a civil penalty not
6to exceed $5,000 for each violation of Section 8 or 9 or
7subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10.
8    (c) In any action brought under the provisions of Section
98 or 9 or subsection (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10, the
10Attorney General is entitled to recover costs.
11    (d) If a court orders a party to make payments to the
12Attorney General and the payments are to be used for the
13operations of the Office of the Attorney General or a party
14agrees, in an out-of-court settlement, to make payment to the
15Attorney General for the operations of the Office of the
16Attorney General, then moneys shall be deposited into the
17Attorney General Court Ordered and Voluntary Compliance
18Payment Projects Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used,
19subject to appropriation, for the performance of any function
20pertaining to the exercise of the duties of the Attorney
21General, including, but not limited to, enforcement of any law
22of this State and conducting public education programs.
23However, any moneys in the Fund that are required by the court
24or by an agreement to be used for a particular purpose shall be
25used for that purpose.



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1    (330 ILCS 45/10)  (from Ch. 23, par. 3090)
2    Sec. 10. Superintendents and counties.
3    (a) The executive powers of the Commission shall be vested
4in a superintendent selected or appointed elected by a vote
5from a majority of the full Commission membership and who
6shall have received an honorable discharge from the armed
7forces of the United States.
8    (b) Superintendent vacancies shall be filled, whether
9long-term or temporarily, at the next regularly scheduled full
10Commission meeting or within 30 days at a specially convened
11meeting, whichever comes sooner, and shall be selected by a
12vote from a majority of the full Commission membership.
13    (c) Any individual who may be tasked with assuming the
14duties of or may be vested with the executive powers of a
15superintendent, whether as acting or interim superintendent,
16must be selected or appointed by a vote from a majority of the
17full Commission membership and must have received an honorable
18discharge from the armed forces of the United States.
19    (d) The designated superintendent of the Veterans
20Assistance Commission of the county shall, under the direction
21of the Commission, have charge of and maintain an office in the
22county building or a central location within the county, to be
23used solely by the Commission for providing the just,
24necessary, and needed services mandated by law.
25    (e) The county shall provide for the funding of the office
26and provide furnish all necessary furnishings, supplies, and



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1services as passed by the county board in its annual
2appropriation, and the county shall provide or fund services,
3including, but not limited to, human resources and payroll
4support; information technology services and equipment;
5telephone services and equipment; printing services and
6equipment; postage costs; and liability insurance. Any
7litigation or legal settlement that has a financial impact to
8the county is subject to the approval of the county board.
9telephone, printing, stationery, and postage therefor.
10    (f) The county shall also provide to the employees of the
11Commission all benefits available to county employees,
12including, but not limited to, benefits offered through the
13Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund or any other applicable
14county retirement fund; health, life, and dental insurance;
15and workers compensation insurance. Employer contributions and
16costs for these benefits, services, and coverages may come
17from Commission funds. Counties not currently providing
18benefits to Commission employees must comply with this
19subsection within 90 days after the effective date of this
20amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
21    (g) The county board shall, in any county where a Veterans
22Assistance Commission is organized, in addition to sums
23appropriated for these just, necessary, and needed services as
24provided by law and approved by the Commission under this Act,
25appropriate such additional sums, upon recommendation of the
26Veterans Assistance Commission, to properly compensate, in



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1accordance with the requirements of subsection (g) of Section
29 and subsection (e) of this Section, the officers and
3employees required to administer such assistance. The county
4board shall also provide funds to the Commission to reimburse
5the superintendent, officers, delegates and employees for
6certain expenses which are approved by the Commission. The
7superintendent and other employees shall be employees of the
8Veterans Assistance Commission, and no provision in this
9Section or elsewhere in this Act shall be construed to mean
10that they are employees of the county.
11    (h) Superintendents, subject to rules formulated by the
12Commission, shall select, as far as possible, Veteran Service
13Officers and other employees from among military veterans,
14including those who have served or may still be serving as
15members of the Illinois National Guard or a reserve component
16of the armed forces of the United States, who did not receive a
17bad conduct or dishonorable discharge or other equivalent
18discharge thereof, or their spouses, surviving spouses, or
19children. Employees of the Commission shall be at-will
21    (i) In a county with less than 2,000,000 inhabitants, the
22superintendent may, in conformance with subsection (f) of
23Section 3-9005 of the Counties Code, request legal assistance
24from the State's Attorney serving the county in which the
25Veterans Assistance Commission is located, an opinion upon any
26question of law relating to a matter in which the county



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1Veterans Assistance Commission may be concerned. With regard
2to matters involving Section 8 or 9 or subsection (a), (b), or
3(c) of Section 10, the State's Attorney shall confer with the
4Office of the Attorney General before rendering an opinion.
5    (j) Superintendents of all counties subject to this Act,
6when required by the Commission, shall give bond in the sum of
7$2,000 for the faithful performance of their duties.
8    (k) All persons elected or selected or appointed to fill
9positions provided for in this Section shall be exempt from
10the operation and provisions of any civil service act or laws
11of this State, and the secretary of the Commission shall be
12appointed by the superintendent.
13(Source: P.A. 102-56, eff. 7-9-21; 102-732, eff. 1-1-23.)
14    (330 ILCS 45/12 new)
15    Sec. 12. Home rule. A home rule unit may not operate, act,
16or fail to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the
17provisions of this Act. This Section is a limitation under
18subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois
19Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of
20powers and functions exercised by the State.
21    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
22becoming law.".