Protecting the families of our nation's heroes

Nearly 55,000 Illinois residents currently serve our country in the military, ranking Illinois 13th in the number of residents serving our nation. Not only do thousands of military members call Illinois home, so do their families. Oftentimes those families are required to move to an Illinois community to accommodate the servicemember's assignment.

When the unthinkable happens and a servicemember is killed in action, their family is left with many difficult decisions, including the need or desire to move.

Under current law, families are permitted to terminate a residential lease without penalty when a servicemember is deployed. However, it does not allow for the same option when a servicemember is killed in action, causing the family additional hardship. 

Rep. Mike Unes learned of this issue from a widow of a fallen soldier. She and her two young children needed to move after her husband was killed in action but the landlord required her to pay penalties for early termination of the lease. 

In response, Rep. Unes recently introduced HB4317 to ensure the families of servicemembers do not face additional burdens after losing their loved one in service to our country. The legislation will allow families to terminate their lease without penalty when their loved one is killed in action.

We owe it to our nation's heroes who pay the ultimate price to protect their families. HB4317 is one way we can do just that.