CHICAGO – May 29, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed two bills into law that support Illinois’ servicemembers. The new laws increase foreclosure protections for active-duty servicemembers and expand the War on Terrorism Compensation Act, allowing more servicemembers to receive a $100 service compensation.
“Memorial Day is a day we should all set aside to honor those who have bravely and selflessly given their lives defending our freedom,” said Governor Quinn. “These important new laws ensure that we support our servicemembers both while they are away serving our country and when they return to the homefront.”
House Bill 3762 allows servicemembers to apply for a 90-day stay of their mortgage foreclosure procedures while on active duty. The new law requires civil courts to delay foreclosure procedures for 90 days if the servicemember applies in writing and is on active-duty. The protections in this bill improve upon the rights afforded to active-duty members under the federal Service Members Civil Relief Act.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights), passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and will take effect on January 1, 2011.
Senate Bill 3128 updates the War on Terrorism Compensation Act to include Illinois servicemembers who have received the Afghanistan or Iraq Campaign Medal. The War on Terrorism Compensation Act, signed into law by Governor Quinn last year, allows Illinois servicemembers and Veterans who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001 to receive $100. This is the same compensation that is provided to Illinois Veterans who served in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and Operation Desert Storm.
Under the current law, to be eligible for the compensation servicemembers and Veterans must have served after September 11, 2001; been a resident of Illinois for at least 12 months; be an active duty, honorably discharged, in reserves, or retired; and have received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal or the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Senate Bill 3128 adds servicemembers who meet the current requirements and have been issued the Afghanistan Campaign Medal or the Iraq Campaign Medal. This change is important, because many servicemembers receive these medals in lieu of the two specified in the original legislation.
Senate Bill 3128, sponsored by Sen. Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) and Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield), passed the Illinois House and Senate overwhelmingly applies the change retroactively to July 24, 2009.