J.B. Pritzker is doing a listening tour with veterans. The tour included a stop in Peoria Thursday.
The Democratic candidate for governor says too many state-based services that helped veterans were lost when Illinois went for two years without a budget.
Pritzker says focusing on employment for veterans would fill one of the gaps in services. “They’ll come out the service, getting discharged there’s not a job waiting for them. But they need to now enter the workforce. But there's nobody there helping them do that. And it’s often the case that they do not know where to go.”
Pritzker says providing a web portal for veterans to apply for jobs and access a variety of other state and federal services could make a real difference in helping them at all stages.
He says, “that’s just one of the things that I think will help us plug some of the holes in the serves the vets are getting. But remember, if you’re not funding mental health services and you’re not funding substance abuse treatment and the many challenges that vets are facing, then those serves are not available to most veterans, 750,000 of them across the state.”
Pritzker says the two-years budget debacle halted many of the mental health and substance abuse treatment services that may have been available to veterans.
Pritzker says he is also interested in improving access to health care options across the state for veterans and improve housing options for those veterans in need.