Thursday, November 10, 2016 09:42 AM
November 11 is observed in the United States as Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the armed forces. This day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, which is meant to honor those who lost their lives while in service. Veterans Day is an official public holiday in the United States. If you would like to honor veterans in your community, a list of events throughout Illinois is available here.
The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus includes a number of members who served in various branches of the armed forces: President John Cullerton, Sen. Bill Haine, Sen. Mike Hastings, Sen. Mike Noland and Sen. Tom Cullerton. To learn more about our members and their thoughts on Veterans Day, please watch our video.
This year, Senate Democrats initiated and passed legislation to help veterans with substance abuse, PTSD, starting businesses and bringing home deported veterans. Learn about these seven new measures to assist veterans and ensure they have the support and resources they need.
Bush’s legislation helps vets overcome addiction, supports Veterans’ Homes
Illinois drivers will have an opportunity to support Veterans’ Homes. Veterans will have more options to seek treatment for addictions and the local veterans’ assistance commissions will have greater ability to partner with drug courts. Veterans seeking treatment will be helped under two new laws sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush.
To cut down on people falsely impersonating veterans, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) passed legislation through the Illinois Senate earlier this year to make it a petty offense to falsely impersonate a veteran. The proposal was Senator Murphy’s first bill as a State Senator and was signed into law by Governor Rauner.
Illinois National Guard members will soon be able to receive veterans status on Illinois identification cards thanks to State Senator Scott Bennett’s initiative that was signed into law.
Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) responded to a court decision on Tuesday that will require the State of Illinois to add Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to the medical marijuana pilot program currently underway in Illinois.
Legislation that will help veterans become business owners was signed into law by the governor. Senate Bill 324, sponsored by Bertino-Tarrant, will create a program at the Illinois Finance Authority that would allow veterans to apply and receive a business loan. The program will be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the State Treasurer.
According to a recent U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs study, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in this country. To stop this alarming trend, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and the Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide will hear from veterans, health care professionals and community groups to investigate the causes to and prevention of suicides among returning Illinois veterans.
Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her push for deported veterans to be returned home to the United States. Martinez passed a resolution out of the Senate encouraging the President of the United States and members of Congress to return veterans who have been deported to their families and communities in the United States.