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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Senate Approves Bills to Provide Reduced-Fee Hunting & Fishing Licenses to Disabled Vets

HARRISBURG – The State Senate has unanimously approved legislation to offer disabled Pennsylvania veterans reduced-fee hunting & fishing licenses, according to Senators Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Lisa Baker (R-20).

Senate Bill 1102, authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, would reduce the cost of fishing licenses for disabled veterans to $1 for an annual license.

Senate Bill 1090, authored by Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker, would reduce the cost of hunting licenses for disabled veterans to $1 for an annual license.

“Pennsylvania’s disabled veterans have made a tremendous sacrifice for our country and face many challenges as a result of their service,” Scarnati said. “Providing them the opportunity to participate in hunting and fishing activities at a reduced fee is a way that we can thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

“Expanding this bill to include any veteran who is rated as disabled will eliminate confusion, simplify the process and expand the benefit to many more veterans,” Baker said. “Offering a chance for them to enjoy the homeland that they have protected with their lives is a small but meaningful way to express our gratitude.”

Senate Bills 1102 and 1090 reduce the cost of annual hunting and fishing licenses to $1 each, for all disabled veterans in the Commonwealth. Currently, Pennsylvania law allows for free hunting and fishing licenses only for veterans who are either certified as 100 percent disabled, or who have lost the use of one of their arms or legs.

Any Pennsylvania veteran eligible for disability compensation as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs would qualify for the $1 licenses. Veterans certified as having a total disability would continue to qualify for free licenses. Pennsylvania currently offers $1 hunting and fishing licenses to certain active duty military personnel as well.

“Every region across Pennsylvania offers numerous areas for outdoor recreational activities like hunting and fishing,” Scarnati said. “These bills are an important way to honor those who have helped to protect our freedoms and will ensure that all disabled veterans have access to enjoy our Commonwealth’s great outdoors.”

Senate Bills 1102 and 1090 will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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