Bills for Reduced-Fee Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Disabled Vets Sent to the Governor

June 18, 2014

HARRISBURG – The State Senate has unanimously approved legislation to offer more disabled Pennsylvania veterans reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses, according to Senators Joe Scarnati (R-25), Lisa Baker (R-20) and Scott Hutchinson (R-21).

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 Labor & Industry Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker and Senate Communications & Technology Committee Chairman Scott Hutchinson would reduce the cost of hunting licenses for disabled veterans to $1 for an annual license.

“These bills are a small way to honor those who have helped to protect our freedoms and will ensure that more disabled veterans have access to enjoy our Commonwealth’s great outdoors,” Senator Scarnati said.  “Pennsylvania’s disabled veterans have made a tremendous sacrifice for our country and face many challenges as a result of their service.  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.”

“The County Veterans Affairs Directors Association told us that this benefit was not being applied uniformly across the state,” Senator Baker said. “Expansion to include any veteran who is rated as disabled eliminates confusion and simplifies the process.  The nominal $1 fee allows Pennsylvania to draw down on federal funds.”

“I am pleased to see these measures are moving toward enactment into law. These bills are about honoring true American heroes who due to their service to our country have lost their mobility and their ability to work,” Senator Hutchinson said.  “Extending this benefit is another way to honor those who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation.”

Senate Bills 1102 and 1090 reduce the cost of annual hunting and fishing licenses to $1 each, for military veterans in the Commonwealth who are 60 percent or greater disabled, as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  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.

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.

Senate Bills 1102 and 1090 will now be sent to the Governor for his signature.  Once signed into law the legislation will go into effect within 60 days.

CONTACTS:

Kate Eckhart (Senator Scarnati) keckhart@pasen.gov  717-787-7084

Jennifer Wilson (Senator Baker) jwilson@pasen.gov   570-675-3931

Justin Leventry (Senator Hutchinson) jleventry@pasen.gov 717-787-9684