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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - January 9, 2018

Senate to probe deadly disease outbreak at veterans home
Persistent outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease at a state-run home for veterans in Quincy and the Rauner administration's response is the focus of a special legislative hearing in Chicago this week.

Thirteen people have died of the disease at the Illinois Veterans Home, a 132-year-old facility with nearly 400 residents. A new federal report states the water system at the home may never be completely rid of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's and cautioned that more cases could occur.

Concerned about keeping the facility open and safe, representatives from the state departments of Veterans Affairs and Public Health, the Rauner administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been invited to testify before a joint Senate-House Armed Services Committee.

Veterans benefit from new laws in 2018
Several new laws take effect Jan. 1 to support  veterans in Illinois including three that:

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equire the state public health department to promote cancer-screening programs and awareness for veterans

Learn more about other new laws affecting Illinois veterans.
Divorce law allows for "best interest" of pets
Illinois judges can consider a pet's best interest when approving divorce settlements since a new Illinois law went into effect Jan. 1.  Under the law, judges may treat pets more like children than property when dissolving marriages.

Pet custody cases rarely reach court – most couples decide custody on their own – but when they do, the new state law will help offer guidance to judges on how to proceed with their decision.


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