Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2369
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Full Text of HB2369  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/17/2021, by Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit


20 ILCS 2805/37

    Amends the Department of Veterans' Affairs Act. Allows specified actions to be performed by the designee of the Director of Veterans' Affairs. Provides that the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation shall (currently, may) be assisted in carrying out its functions by Department of Veterans' Affairs personnel, including legal professionals. Requires the Foundation's audit to be included in the Department's audit and to be prepared by the Department.

LRB102 11696 RAM 17030 b






HB2369LRB102 11696 RAM 17030 b

1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Department of Veterans' Affairs Act is
5amended by changing Section 37 as follows:
6    (20 ILCS 2805/37)
7    Sec. 37. Illinois Joining Forces Foundation.
8    (a) The General Assembly finds that navigating the "sea of
9goodwill" for those who serve in uniform is one of the greatest
10challenges that transitioning veterans face; as a result, they
11risk being unable to access many of the federal, State, and
12non-profit resources available to them. Recognizing this
13problem, the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the
14Department of Military Affairs acted to establish the Illinois
15Joining Forces initiative, a public-private network of
16military and veteran-serving organizations that are working
17together, in person and online, to create a no-wrong-door
18system of support for the State's military and veteran
19communities. Illinois Joining Forces is a nation-leading
20model, awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and
21the National Association of State Directors of Veterans
22Affairs for its groundbreaking work in creating smarter,
23collaborative community support for those in uniform, past and



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1present. The foundation created by this amendatory Act of the
298th General Assembly will serve to ensure the long-term
3sustainability of Illinois Joining Forces, which is critically
4important for the support of the State's military and veteran
6    (b) The Illinois Joining Forces Foundation shall benefit
7service members, veterans, and their families by:
8        (1) convening military and veteran support
9    organizations, through Illinois Joining Forces working
10    groups, to build cross-sector relationships and mutual
11    awareness;
12        (2) providing policy recommendations through Illinois
13    Joining Forces member working groups to the Illinois
14    Veterans' Advisory Council;
15        (3) facilitating the transfer of information and
16    knowledge among Illinois Joining Forces member
17    organizations;
18        (4) maintaining and continuing to build the
19    no-wrong-door online navigation platform;
20        (5) educating Illinois Joining Forces members and
21    other community providers regarding military and veteran
22    culture and needs, thus improving the collective capacity
23    of the support system; and
24        (6) outreaching directly to service members, veterans,
25    and their families regarding the no-wrong-door system that
26    Illinois Joining Forces provides to them.



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1    (c) For the purpose of this Section, "veterans service
2organization" means an organization that meets all of the
3following criteria:
4        (1) The organization is formed by and for United
5    States military veterans.
6        (2) The organization is chartered by the United States
7    Congress and incorporated in the State of Illinois.
8        (3) The organization has maintained a State
9    headquarters office in Illinois for the 10-year period
10    immediately preceding the effective date of this
11    amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly.
12        (4) The organization maintains at least one office in
13    this State, staffed by a veterans service officer.
14        (5) The organization is capable of preparing a power
15    of attorney for a veteran and processing claims for
16    veterans services.
17        (6) The organization is not funded by the State of
18    Illinois or by any county in this State.
19    (d) The General Assembly authorizes the Department of
20Veterans' Affairs, in accordance with Section 10 of the State
21Agency Entity Creation Act, to create the Illinois Joining
22Forces Foundation as a not-for-profit foundation. The
23Department shall file articles of incorporation as required
24under the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 to
25create the Foundation. The Foundation's Board of Directors
26shall be appointed as follows: one member appointed by the



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1Governor; one member appointed by the President of the Senate;
2one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate; one
3member appointed by the Speaker of the House of
4Representatives; one member appointed by the Minority Leader
5of the House of Representatives; and all of the members of the
6Illinois Joining Forces Executive Committee, who shall be
7appointed by the Director of Veterans' Affairs or the
8Director's designee. In addition to any veterans service
9organization otherwise represented on the Board of Directors,
10a veterans service organization may designate in writing an ex
11officio, non-voting participant to the Board of Directors. Any
12veterans service organization appointee under this Section
13does not count towards a quorum. The Director of Veterans'
14Affairs, or the Director's designee, and a designee chosen by
15the Director of Military Affairs who is a senior management
16official of the Department of Military Affairs with the
17authority to make decisions on behalf of the agency shall
18serve as members of the Foundation's Board of Directors. Board
19of Director appointments shall be for 2-year terms. Vacancies
20shall be filled by the official who made the recommendation
21for the vacated appointment. No member of the Board of
22Directors may receive compensation for his or her services to
23the Foundation. Upon appointment, the Board of Directors, as
24members of a public entity, shall be represented and
25indemnified pursuant to the requirements of the State Employee
26Indemnification Act.



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1    (e) The purposes of the Foundation are to: promote,
2support, assist, and sustain Illinois Joining Forces
3operations; solicit and accept grants and private donations
4and disburse them for the stated intent of the Foundation or
5the private donor; solicit and generate public and private
6funding and donations that assist in enhancing the Illinois
7Joining Forces mission, services, programs, and operations;
8and engage generally in other lawful endeavors consistent with
9the foregoing purposes. The foundation shall operate within
10the provisions of the General Not For Profit Corporation Act
11of 1986.
12    (f) As soon as practicable after the Foundation is
13created, the Board of Directors shall meet, organize, and
14designate, by majority vote, a chairperson, a treasurer, a
15secretary, and any additional officers that may be needed to
16carry out the activities of the Foundation and shall adopt
17bylaws of the Foundation. The Department of Veterans' Affairs,
18in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs, may
19adopt other rules deemed necessary to govern Foundation
21    (g) The Foundation may request and accept gifts, grants,
22donations, or bequests from the federal government or its
23agencies or officers or from any person, firm, or corporation,
24and may expend receipts on activities that it considers
25suitable to the performance of its duties under this Section
26and consistent with any requirement of the grant, gift,



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1donation, or bequest. Funds collected by the Foundation shall
2be considered private funds and shall be held in an
3appropriate account outside of the State treasury. Private
4funds collected by the Foundation are not subject to the
5Public Funds Investment Act. The treasurer of the Foundation
6shall be the custodian of all Foundation funds. The treasurer
7shall be required to obtain a fidelity or surety bond on
8satisfactory terms and in sufficient amounts to protect the
9interests of the Foundation, the cost of which shall be
10reimbursed by the Foundation. The Foundation and its officers
11shall be responsible for the approval of the recording of
12receipts, approval of payments, and the proper filing of
13required reports. The Foundation may be assisted in carrying
14out its functions by Department of Military Affairs personnel
15and shall be assisted in carrying out its functions by
16Department of Veterans' Affairs personnel, including, but not
17limited to, legal professionals. The Department of Military
18Affairs and the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall provide
19reasonable assistance to the Foundation to achieve the
20purposes of the Foundation as determined by the respective
21Directors. The Foundation shall cooperate fully with the
22boards, commissions, agencies, departments, and institutions
23of the State. The funds held and made available by the Illinois
24Joining Forces Foundation shall be subject to financial and
25compliance audits in accordance with the Illinois State
26Auditing Act. The Foundation's audit shall be included in the



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1Department of Veterans' Affairs audit and shall be prepared by
2the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The Foundation shall not
3have any power of eminent domain. The Foundation shall not
4construct or make any permanent improvements to any real
6    (h) The Foundation must provide a written notice to any
7entity providing a gift, grant, donation, or bequest to the
8Foundation that the Foundation is not subject to the
9provisions of the Public Funds Investment Act, which Act
10places limitations on the types of securities in which a
11public agency may invest public funds.
12    (i) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the
13Foundation is not eligible for any grant administered or
14funded by the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the
15Department of Military Affairs.
16(Source: P.A. 100-10, eff. 6-30-17.)