Lawmakers Talk Pros, Cons On Veteran Legislation

At least two-dozen pieces of veteran-related legislation were introduced in the Illinois legislature this past session.

While some lawmakers say the state should do anything it can to help veterans, others say there are limits on how far to go.

One of the proposals lawmakers approved would require veterans only to complete the online part of the Illinois hunting license application.

This means vets wouldn’t have to take an in-person class.

Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said since that class consists mostly of learning to properly use firearms…

DAVIDSMEYER: “It plays perfectly into it because they have had that proper training with weapons and guns, whereas something else might not be the case, just because you throw the word “veteran” onto it.”

One such measure, says Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, would allow convicted veterans to apply to remove felonies from their records.

Kay said he can’t remember the last time lawmakers approved expungement legislation.

Instead, Kay says…

KAY: “We ought to be putting our efforts into legislation to help those people who’ve been in the field, who have suffered loss, whose families have suffered loss, and help those folks first.”

Despite similar concerns from fellow lawmakers, the plan did pass the General Assembly.

Like the hunting proposal, it’s going to the governor’s desk.

—Chris Slaby

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