GURNEE, Ill. – In response to multiple outbreaks and issues in Veterans’ homes over the years, state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, sponsored legislation to protect veterans and address problems with veterans’ homes in Illinois and veterans’ services.
“Over the past few years, we have lost too many heroes in our Veterans’ Homes due to situations that could have been prevented,” said Mason. “We need to hold all areas of government accountable, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our veterans.”
In Fall 2020, a COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home resulted in the deaths of 36 residents. Years earlier, an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy Veterans’ Home also resulted in the needless deaths of multiple residents. During the Fall Veto Session, Mason co-sponsored legislation to create the Veterans’ Accountability Unit to investigate complaints and possible misconduct of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). The Veterans’ Accountability Unit will be separate from the IDVA to ensure it can effectively hold them accountable. The new unit will also investigate potential issues with veterans’ services provided by other state agencies outside of the IDVA. The unit will include a toll-free helpline and an email dedicated to receiving complaints, information, and recommendations. The daughter of a veteran, Mason has been working to help veterans, including passing legislation earlier this year to expand access to property tax exemptions for veterans.
“As the daughter of a veteran, I believe heroes like my father deserve the best treatment. Our veterans fought to ensure our freedoms, so we now need to fight for them to make sure they are receiving the proper care they deserve,” said Mason. “As we celebrate Veterans Day and we honor the sacrifices they made in their personal lives, we need to go beyond only words of gratitude and address the issues they are facing.”
Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031