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SPRINGFIELD – To prevent the exploitation of veterans and promote the availability of free service programs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) passed a measure through the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Tuesday that seeks to penalize deceptive service providers.

“The past year has demonstrated just how easy it can be for those with malicious intent to take advantage of the innocent,” Hastings said. “It is our obligation to protect our veterans from these bad actors.”

Under House Bill 3865, any advertisement for veteran and military service benefits must include that these services are available free of charge from federal, state and county veteran service offices.

Additionally, the failure to disclose the availability of veteran service programs in advertisements relating to these services would be declared unlawful.

“This is a step we can take to ensure our veterans are not taken advantage of,” Hastings said. “They need to know their government stands ready to provide quality services, which they have earned many times over.”

This legislation awaits consideration by the full Senate.