SPRINGFIELD – August 16, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today signed into law three bills that assist the families of service members that have lost their life in service to our country.
"I am honored to be here today with our Gold Star Families to sign this legislation," said Governor Quinn. "Not only must we express our reverence and respect for families whose sons and daughters have given the ultimate sacrifice, but we must ensure that they receive the benefits and services they are entitled.”
Among the bills:
- House Bill 22, sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) and Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake), ensures timely payment to beneficiaries of servicemembers killed in the line of duty, and creates a two-year window for beneficiaries to apply for death benefits, among other provisions.
- Senate Bill 1493, sponsored by Sen. Louis Viverito (D-Burbank) and Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Summit), creates the Gold Star Family Assistance Program, providing greater access to Court of Claims information for beneficiaries of service members killed in the line of duty, including a toll-free helpline.
- House Bill 3663, sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) designates the fourth Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day, moving it from the second Sunday in August.
“I applaud Governor Quinn and members of the General Assembly for advancing these laws that will provide some measure of comfort to the families of Illinois’ fallen service members,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant.
In addition to Director Grant, Governor Quinn was joined by Sen. Demuzio, Rep. Franks and several Gold Star family members at the bill signing on Veteran’s Day at the 2009 Illinois State Fair.