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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2009
Gov. Quinn and Rep. Foster Announce Legislation to Create National Military Family Relief Fund
Call on Illinois citizens to contribute to the Illinois Fund this tax season
(CHICAGO) – April 8, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Bill Foster today announced their support of a bill that will create the National Military Family Relief Fund and provide greater aid to military families in all branches of the armed services. Rep. Foster recently introduced the bill, H.R. 1175, in the House of Representatives.
“More than 35 states have passed legislation modeled after the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. I want to thank Congressman Foster for introducing this bill that would help so many military families across the county,” said Governor Quinn. “When our brave men and women answer the call to duty, they should not have to worry that their families are suffering financially at home. All of us in the Land of Lincoln can help our military families by donating to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.”
H.R. 1175 calls for a National Military Family Relief Fund to which taxpayers would voluntarily contribute by filling in an amount on their federal income tax forms. The amount for the relief fund would be added to the supporter’s tax bill or deducted from a rebate.
“It is imperative that we provide our military families with the support and relief they deserve,” Rep. Foster said. “During these tough economic times, we cannot leave our heroes and their families behind. This is a solution that also would allow any taxpayer to say thank you to our service members’ families and provide relief in a common-sense and fiscally responsible way.”
The Department of Defense would administer the fund. Active-duty and veteran servicemen and servicewomen fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families would be eligible for grants from the relief fund.
H.R. 1175 is based on the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, which was drafted by Quinn, unanimously passed by the General Assembly, and was signed into law in 2003. It established a check-off box on the Illinois income tax return enabling individuals to make tax-deductible donations directly to the fund.
Since its creation, the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund has distributed $8 million of approved funds to meet the needs of more than 14,000 filed applications from Illinois military families.
Rep. Foster and Gov. Quinn were joined by Director Dan Grant of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; Major General William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard; and PO2 Robert Smith of Aurora, a beneficiary of the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
“Under Gov. Quinn’s leadership, Illinois Military Family Relief Fund has served as a excellent model, inspiring 35 other states to repeat this program’s success,” Rep. Foster said. “Gov. Quinn’s example showed that we could do more for our service members and their families in Illinois, and I introduced H.R. 1175 to expand this program so that military families across the nation could also benefit from the fund. Now, I am committed to working with House leadership to get this bill to the floor.”
For raw audio from the announcement, please visit
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