porfirio3479SPRINGFIELD – To protect our nation’s veterans from predatory business practices, State Senator Mike Porfirio and State Representative Stephanie Kifowit championed legislation through the General Assembly aimed at combating unaccredited companies that target veterans by offering benefits in exchange for financial compensation.

“This legislation is a crucial step in protecting our brave veterans from predatory practices and ensuring they receive the benefits and respect they rightfully deserve,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and it’s our duty to ensure their wellbeing is safeguarded. This bill is a significant victory for our veterans and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to their welfare.”

Common predatory practices include guaranteeing an increased disability rating or percentage increase, advertising expedited VA claims decisions, requesting login credentials to access a veteran’s personal information through secure VA websites and more. Senate Bill 3479 would combat deceptive business practices by ensuring transparency regarding these businesses’ lack of VA accreditation. To offer better consumer transparency, Porfirio’s legislation requires these entities to disclose that their businesses are neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Under the measure, which is a legislative priority of Veterans of Foreign Wars at both the state and federal level, veterans would be better informed about the services offered to them, reducing the risk of misleading or fraudulent advice. The goal is to protect veterans from these deceptive practices and establish a more secure environment when they are seeking assistance related to their veteran or military benefits.

“SB 3479 is a critical step in safeguarding my fellow veterans and military families from deceptive practices,” stated Kifowit (D-Oswego), a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “By expanding the types of services protected and requiring clear disclosures, we ensure that veterans are fully informed before engaging with any service provider. This amendment will prevent predatory 'claim sharks' from exploiting our veterans and their families, offering them the protection and respect they deserve. It is our duty to uphold the integrity of the services provided to those who have served our country."

Senate Bill 3479 heads to the governor for final approval.