Legislation introduced by State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) that would provide additional assistance to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression received unanimous approval from the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 15th.
HB 2897 dictates that veterans suffering from PTSD or depression shall be considered eligible to receive a service dog through the Helping Paws Service Dog Program. Currently this program is facilitated by the Department of Corrections where dogs are trained and provided to people with certain disabilities.
“As Illinois’ veterans return home from conflicts abroad, many struggle with the physical, mental, and emotional scars that they carry with them,” Severin said. “Companion animals like service dogs have proven very effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of PTSD and depression. This bill will help us fulfill our obligation to care for our veterans when they return home, while utilizing a highly effective program that is already in existence.”
Severin was gracious for the support the bill received from both sides of the aisle and now looks forward to gaining the support of the Senate.
“I want to thank my colleagues in the House for unanimously for HB 2897 and I am eager to work with members of the Senate to get this bill on the Governor’s desk.”
To learn more about the bill Click Here<https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=2897&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=104386>.