In his annual budget address on March 26, Gov. Pat Quinn proposed a
five-year budget plan that maintains services for veterans and other
critical state services. His budget relies upon a proposal to
maintain current income tax rates, which are set to expire in
January 2015, while also providing significant property tax relief —
a $500 refund for every Illinois homeowner every year. In the
proposed budget, the IDVA funding request is $148 million,
representing an $8.7 million increase in the state's general revenue
funds, in order to meet the increased care requirements of veterans
residing in IDVA's four veterans homes: in Quincy, Anna, LaSalle and
"Gov. Quinn clearly remains steadfastly committed to
supporting Illinois veterans," said Erica Borggren, director of the
Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. "We appreciate his
leadership in holding the line on veteran issues and providing
services and support to those who have borne the burden of service."
Absent action by the General Assembly on the expiring income tax
rates, Illinois faces a huge shortfall of funds for the fiscal 2014
budget – to the tune of $1.8 billion. IDVA could face a cut of 22
percent or more in state general funds for the next fiscal year,
which begins July 1.
A cut of this scale to IDVA would have a real, direct impact on
services for the state's more than 740,000 veterans — especially
given that, when state funds are cut, IDVA also loses federal and
other funds tied to them.
IDVA would likely have to close multiple veterans homes, evicting
current residents and laying off hundreds of associated staff. The
department would also have to close the Prince Home for Homeless &
Disabled Veterans in Manteno and scores of Veteran Service Offices —
as well as cease payments on grants such as headstone placement
funding, education stipends for children of veterans killed in
combat and many other benefits.
Additional details on the IDVA budget for fiscal 2015 are
information is available on Page 51 of the
Fiscal Year 2015 Agency
Fact Sheets (PDF).
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Increased federal benefits
— Increased federal benefits
claimed by Illinois veterans by $10 million. Illinois veterans
received over $43.9 million in federal benefits in fiscal 2013
through assistance by field services staff adjudicating federal
claims. This represents a $10 million increase from fiscal 2012, as
well as 36,200 more veterans served than in fiscal 2012.
efficiency of grants and field services operations through the
launch of CyberVet, an IDVA-developed software tool that creates
electronic veteran records and claims.
Awarded state grants to 5,173 veterans
professional and compassionate care to more than 900 residents in
veterans homes and received an average rating of 9.28 out 10 from
residents and families through the first resident satisfaction
survey. The Illinois veterans' homes claimed $31.6 million in
federal money in fiscal 2013.
Provided additional long-term care to veterans
— Increased the number of
homeless veterans who enrolled in and graduated from the Prince
Home, which houses and equips veterans for successful transition to
self-sufficiency. In fiscal 2013, 17 homeless veterans were admitted
to the Prince Home, 259 were assisted with after-care services, and
735 homeless or at-risk veterans were assisted with advocacy
Supported more homeless veterans
Illinois Department of
Veterans' Affairs file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]