State

Illinois creates foundation to help veterans

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is creating a non-profit foundation to better help veterans.

The Illinois Joining Forces Foundation will support Illinois Joining Forces, a network of organizations that serve veterans, active military and their families.

The network was created in 2012 and housed in the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and Department of Military Affairs.

Supporters say having a non-profit foundation —rather than the state — oversee the network will provide more flexibility in raising and distributing funds. It also will allow the group to hire an executive director who's not a political appointee.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill creating the foundation on Saturday.

Department of Veterans' Affairs Acting Director Rodrigo Garcia says the law "marks the next stage in our efforts to help so many deserving people across Illinois."

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