Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5542
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Full Text of HB5542  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning veterans.
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        (3) (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        (4) (6) outreaching directly to service members,
25    veterans, and their families regarding the no-wrong-door
26    system of support that Illinois Joining Forces provides to



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



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1    The Foundation's Board of Directors shall be appointed as
2follows: one member appointed by the Governor; one member
3appointed by the President of the Senate; one member appointed
4by the Minority Leader of the Senate; one member appointed by
5the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and one member
6appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of
7Representatives; and all of the members of the Illinois
8Joining Forces Executive Committee, who shall be appointed by
9the Director of Veterans' Affairs.
10    The Foundation may also include up to 18 additional voting
11members of the Board of Directors: up to 9 members to be
12nominated and approved by the Board of Directors according to
13the Foundation's bylaws, and up to 9 members to be appointed by
14the Director of Veterans' Affairs or the Director of Military
15Affairs. The Board shall have an equal number of board or
16department appointed members. To ensure parity, no additional
17nominee may be considered by the Board of Directors unless a
18like appointment is made by the Department of Veterans'
19Affairs or the Department of Military Affairs, and vice versa.
20     In addition to any veterans service organization
21otherwise represented on the Board of Directors, a veterans
22service organization may designate in writing an ex officio,
23non-voting participant to the Board of Directors. Any veterans
24service organization appointee under this provision Section
25does not count towards a quorum.
26    The Director of Veterans' Affairs, or the Director's



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1designee, and a designee chosen by the Director of Military
2Affairs who is a senior management official of the Department
3of Military Affairs with the authority to make decisions on
4behalf of the agency shall serve as members of the
5Foundation's Board of Directors. Board of Director
6appointments shall be for 2-year terms. Vacancies shall be
7filled by the official who made the statutory appointment
8recommendation for the vacated appointment. No member of the
9Board of Directors may receive compensation for his or her
10services to the Foundation. Upon appointment, the Board of
11Directors, as members of a public entity, shall be represented
12and indemnified pursuant to the requirements of the State
13Employee Indemnification Act.
14    (e) The purposes of the Foundation are to: promote,
15support, assist, and sustain Illinois Joining Forces
16operations; solicit and accept grants and private donations
17and disburse them for the stated intent of the Foundation or
18the private donor; solicit and generate public and private
19funding and donations that assist in enhancing the Illinois
20Joining Forces mission, services, programs, and operations;
21and engage generally in other lawful endeavors consistent with
22the foregoing purposes. The foundation shall operate within
23the provisions of the General Not For Profit Corporation Act
24of 1986.
25    (f) The As soon as practicable after the Foundation is
26created, the Board of Directors shall meet, organize, and



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1designate, by majority vote, a chairperson, a treasurer, a
2secretary, and any additional officers that may be needed to
3carry out the activities of the Foundation and shall adopt
4bylaws of the Foundation. In consultation with the
5Foundation's Board of Directors, the Department of Veterans'
6Affairs or the Department of Military Affairs may provide
7assistance in adopting other rules deemed necessary to govern
8Foundation procedures. The Department of Veterans' Affairs, in
9consultation with the Department of Military Affairs, may
10adopt other rules deemed necessary to govern Foundation
12    (g) The Foundation may request and accept gifts, grants,
13donations, or bequests from the federal government or its
14agencies or officers or from any person, firm, or corporation,
15and may expend receipts on activities that it considers
16suitable to the performance of its duties under this Section
17and consistent with any requirement of the grant, gift,
18donation, or bequest. Funds collected by the Foundation shall
19be considered private funds and shall be held in an
20appropriate account outside of the State treasury. Private
21funds collected by the Foundation are not subject to the
22Public Funds Investment Act. The treasurer of the Foundation
23shall be the custodian of all Foundation funds. The treasurer
24shall be required to obtain a fidelity or surety bond on
25satisfactory terms and in sufficient amounts to protect the
26interests of the Foundation, the cost of which shall be



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1reimbursed by the Foundation. The Foundation and its officers
2shall be responsible for the approval of the recording of
3receipts, approval of payments, and the proper filing of
4required reports. The Foundation may be assisted in carrying
5out its functions by Department of Military Affairs and
6Department of Veterans' Affairs personnel as determined by the
7respective Directors. The Department of Military Affairs and
8the Department of Veterans' Affairs may shall provide
9reasonable assistance to the Foundation to achieve the
10purposes of the Foundation as determined by the respective
11Directors. The Foundation shall cooperate fully with the
12boards, commissions, agencies, departments, and institutions
13of the State. The funds held and made available by the Illinois
14Joining Forces Foundation shall be subject to financial and
15compliance audits in accordance with the Illinois State
16Auditing Act. The Foundation shall not have any power of
17eminent domain. The Foundation shall not construct or make any
18permanent improvements to any real property.
19    (h) The Foundation must provide a written notice to any
20entity providing a gift, grant, donation, or bequest to the
21Foundation that the Foundation is not subject to the
22provisions of the Public Funds Investment Act, which Act
23places limitations on the types of securities in which a
24public agency may invest public funds.
25    (i) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the
26Foundation is not eligible for any grant administered or



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1funded by the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the
2Department of Military Affairs, but may receive services,
3including, but not limited to, contractual services, provided
4by either Department.
5(Source: P.A. 100-10, eff. 6-30-17.)