State Representative Norine Hammond believes that individuals who served in the National Guard, regardless of their home state, should qualify for a State employment preference as they all endured the same training and underwent identical experiences. Hammond sponsored HB4288 which provides that persons who have been members of the National Guard of any state shall be given preference under the Act. “House Bill 4288 changes how we do veteran’s preference,” Hammond said. “And it allows for veterans who have lived in other states, to also allow veteran’s preference in the state of Illinois, but only after we’ve given full consideration to all of our Illinois veterans.” The bill also provides that a person who has been a member of the Illinois National Guard shall be given priority over a person who has been a member of the National Guard of any other state. “This legislation came to me on behalf of a constituent,” Hammond added. “She and her husband’s family had moved here from Missouri. He served in the Missouri National Guard, but was not eligible for veteran’s preference in the state of Illinois. So, it was much needed.” The bill received bipartisan support and was approved on a vote of 105-0. It now heads to the senate for their consideration.
Hammond’s long term care legislation moving through Illinois house. Individuals with a chronic illness or disability have experienced long delays in the long-term care eligibility process. Hammond says there have also been instances when applicants were not being informed of possible extensions to the process and were denied eligibility due to lack of information in their application. She is sponsoring legislation that is intended to help streamline the determination process, and provide applicants with all necessary information for completing applications in a timely manner. “This is an issue that I’ve been working on for over three years,” Hammond said. “We have an extreme backlog of eligibility applications for long-term care and re-determinations. So, this legislation goes along with a recent court ruling that tells the departments: after 45 days, there is a probation eligibility and they need to start paying the bills.” HB 4771 requires the Department of Human Service and Healthcare and Family Services’ Office of the Inspector General to perform certain actions to ensure that applicants submit completed applications for long-term care benefits. The measure was approved in the Human Services Committee last week. The bill has bipartisan support and now moves to the floor with a number of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.