Sen. Colbeck introduces bills to help veterans take advantage of Michigan outdoors

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Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, introduced two pieces of legislation on Wednesday that would remove state park and fishing license fees for veterans. Under the legislation, active military members from other states would also be exempt from paying for fishing licenses.

“The men and women on active duty or who are veterans of our military serve to protect all of us, no matter where they may live,” Colbeck said. “By opening up our state parks to veterans and granting free fishing licenses to our veterans and active duty military members, we will be taking another step in honoring them for their service and sacrifice for our great nation.”

Senate Bills 816 and 817 would extend cost-free fishing privilege to all active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel, regardless of their place of residence. At least 10 other states provide disabled veterans free access to state parks, and Colbeck said he wants Michigan to provide access to all veterans, disabled or not, and enable veterans and military personnel to enjoy the great outdoors in Michigan, which they have fought to defend.

“The legislation was inspired by the story of one of our 7th Senate District constituents who shared his experience of hosting a serviceman based in another state who was just coming off of deployment in Kuwait,” Colbeck said. He wanted to take him fishing, but Michigan requires service personnel to purchase a fishing license.”

SBs 816 and 817 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security.

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