fishing senior 051322SPRINGFIELD – Based on recommendations made by a constituent, State Senator Linda Holmes sponsored a measure to make life easier for veterans seeking sporting licenses. House Bill 4680 streamlines the process to apply for and attain fishing, hunting and sportsmen’s combination licenses. It was signed into law by the governor Friday.

“A gentleman in the 42nd District contacted me and told me his only choice to get one of these licenses was to go all the way to Springfield to apply in person; I knew there had to be a better way to serve our veterans,” Holmes (D-Aurora) said. “We worked with DNR to fix an oversight in this process: after years of there being five locations to get these licenses, it was down to one. There are now electronic ways to achieve the same goal.”

IDNR requested the change to remove the in-person requirement. They have the duty to establish what constitutes acceptable documentation for veterans applying for the licensing fee discount. This also applies to veterans who apply within two years after returning from service who are eligible for free fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for the number of years they were in the service.

 “The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is pleased to support an initiative that will make life a little easier for the state’s veterans,” IDNR Director Colleen Callahan said. “Anytime we can make access to our services more convenient for our customers, we’re happy to do that.”

House Bill 4680 passed the House on a 104-0 vote and the Senate on a 55-0 vote. With the governor’s signature, the bill becomes effective immediately.