JOLIET – Based on groundbreaking legislation drafted by State’s Attorney James Glasgow to help Illinois veterans, Glasgow is providing legal counsel on an ongoing basis to the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission at no cost to taxpayers. The legislation, signed into law in 2021, gives State’s Attorneys throughout Illinois the authority to provide legal assistance to their local Veterans Assistance Commissions.
“Previously, my Office did not have the statutory authority to assist our Veterans Assistance Commissions – which meant unnecessary costs incurred by our VACs who were forced to hire private counsel when that money could be better spent helping our local veterans,” Glasgow said. “The legislation I drafted gives State’s Attorneys throughout Illinois the authority to provide legal advice when requested to do so by their local Veterans Assistance Commissions. We can accomplish so much when community agencies partner and work together instead of operating in separate silos. There is nothing more fulfilling than actively helping our local veterans.”
The new law gives the State’s Attorney for the county in which a Veterans Assistance Commission is located the authority to render legal opinions on questions of law relating to matters in which the VAC may be concerned, at no cost to the VAC. Previously, State’s Attorneys in Illinois did not have such authority and as a result were unable to provide legal assistance to help their local VACs.
“Rather than simply say his hands were tied because the previous Illinois statute did not give him the authority to help us, State’s Attorney Glasgow proactively worked to change the statute so that he could help the VAC and our veterans,” said Will County VAC Superintendent Kristi McNichol. “This new initiative is another example of how the VAC and State’s Attorney Glasgow work together for the greater good of our veterans and the Will County community.”
Glasgow and members of his staff participated in the VAC’s December meeting with local veteran groups and will be joining each monthly meeting going forward.
“This will guarantee that that we can guide the VAC and help them to avoid any potential legal problems that may arise, without the need for them to spend money on outside attorneys,” Glasgow said.
Glasgow has worked with the VAC on numerous other initiatives to help Will County veterans. These include filing the petition that established the Will County’s Veterans and Servicemembers Court to provide critical counseling and treatment to those who served our Nation and struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders; providing a new ADA-accessible shuttle bus and a van for use by the VAC to transport Will County veterans to the VAC Clinic and Hines VA Hospital where they receive necessary medical services; andestablishing a Valentines for Veterans program in which local school children make valentines that are given to members of our local veteran community.