WHEATON – July 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to benefit Illinois Veterans at the annual “Rockin’ for the Troops” charity benefit sponsored by Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois. The two new laws will allow Veterans’ service organizations to sell the Veterans Cash lottery ticket year round and will create a specialty license plate recognizing Purple Heart Veterans.
Veterans Cash is the Illinois Lottery's first ticket where 100 percent of precedes support Illinois Veterans. Since its launch in 2006, Veterans Cash has awarded more than $8.3 million has been awarded to Veterans organizations statewide.
“We must support our military heroes who have faced the battle on the front lines,” said Governor Quinn. “I am proud to sign this legislation that will help us recognize and provide necessary care for our Veterans when they return home.”
Senate Bill 3661, sponsored by Sen. Michael Bond (D-Grayslake) and Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee), allows the state’s major Veterans’ service organizations to have a special retailer license to sell the Veterans Cash lottery scratch-off ticket year round. Previously the specialty ticket was only sold from October to April.
The eligible Veterans’ service organizations include the VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, Disabled Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Purple Heart Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans. The new law is effective immediately.
The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs uses the money generated from Veterans Cash ticket sales to issue grants to Veterans’ organizations to provide programs and services relating to homelessness, post traumatic stress disorder, health insurance, and other aid for Veterans.
Senate Bill 3023, sponsored by Sen. Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) and Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield), amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to create a specialty Purple Heart license plate specifically for motorcycles. The Purple Heart license plate is available upon request to recipients of the Purple Heart, or their surviving spouse. The law goes into effect July 1, 2011.
Governor Quinn also signed Senate Bill 2976, sponsored by Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), during the event. The new law becomes effective July 1, 2011.
“I applaud the Legislature and Governor Quinn for their leadership and unwavering support for Illinois Veterans,” said Dan Grant, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.