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March 2008 Newsletter

Resources for Illinois Veterans

I recently received information from Tammy Duckworth, the Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs.  Please pass it on to a Veteran that may be in need of some resources.  As always, feel free to call my office or the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs for more information.

Illinois Warrior Assistance Program

This assistance program offers a 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-554-IWAP, which is staffed by health professionals to assist Veterans, day or night, with symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and provides Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) screening to all interested Illinois Vets.

G-I Loans for Heroes

This program, launched in May of 2007 made Illinois the first state in the nation to offer a comprehensive homeownership package to Veterans and active duty service men and women.  The program offers a low-interest rate first mortgage for 80 percent of the purchase of a new home and an interest free second mortgage up to $40,000.  For more information on the G-I loan for Heroes program, visit www.ihda.org or call 1-800-942-8439.

Employment

When returning home, veterans should also contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for assistance in obtaining employment.  IDES has a staff of trained Veterans Representative and disabled Veteran Outreach Representatives dedicated to helping Veterans find employment.  Veterans should call 1-888-FOR-IETC to find their nearest Representative.

Budget Hearing for FY 2009

As the General Assembly begins its spring legislative session, Illinois is confronting serious budget challenges. Lawmakers and the governor will need to close a significant budget shortfall that fiscal experts project to be at least $750 million.

I would like to invite you to join me as a participant in a Regional Budget Hearing in Northbrook on March 24th and to share your views about what the state’s funding priorities should be. I will be co-hosting this hearing with State Representatives Julie Hamos of Evanston, Karen May of Highland Park, Kathy Ryg of Vernon Hills, and Eddie Washington of Waukegan.  The purpose of this hearing is to provide greater transparency to the state budget process, give local residents a voice and provide an understanding of how state budget decisions may impact our region.  We intend to hear from social service providers, local governments, health care facilities, school districts, colleges, labor unions, business groups, and civic organizations as we prepare to craft this year’s state budget.

The Regional Budget Hearing will be held Monday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. at Northbrook Village Hall in the City Hall Chambers, located at 1225 Cedar Lane in Northbrook.  Parking for the event will be available.  If you would like more information, would like to provide testimony, or to confirm your attendance, please call my constituent service office at (847) 257-0450

My Fight to Ban Toxic Chemicals

Just this past Monday, I co-hosted, along with Reps. Al Riley & Sandy Pihos, an exciting and informative presentation by Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group about human’s exposure to toxic chemicals.  In his presentation, Mr. Cook wowed the audience with his organization’s study that found over 287 toxic chemicals in newborn babies in 2005.  I hope to continue raising awareness about this subject not only to other legislators, but to my constituents as well.  I have introduced legislation this session that seeks to regulate the sale and distribution of children’s products or product components containing lead or other specified chemicals (HB 5705).  I hope you will join be in speaking out and supporting this issue.

 

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