HARRISBURG – Members of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard who are deployed overseas would be eligible for a free hunting license and a reduced price fishing license under legislation recently introduced by Sens. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York) and Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne).
The legislation corrects an oversight in Acts 20 and 21 of 2005. These two acts required National Guard members to be deployed overseas for a period of 180 consecutive days or more within the previous 24 months in order to be eligible for the discounts. However, many Air National Guard deployments are for periods of less than 180 days, while most Army National Guard deployments are for periods of 180 days or more. As a result, many Air National Guard members deployed overseas would not qualify for the discounts.
“A constituent of mine deployed to the Middle East in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard brought these oversights to my attention,” Vance said. “I’m hopeful these bills can be approved swiftly so that members of the Air National Guard can receive these benefits. It only seems appropriate that they should be able to participate in this program.”
“It is important that we correct the unintended consequences of the original bills that are preventing our servicemen and women from being eligible for the originally intended benefit,” said Baker, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “These licensing and fee exemptions are one small way by which we thank them for their wartime service. Pennsylvania Air National Guard members should not be arbitrarily penalized due to the length of their deployment period.”
Senate Bill 1118, sponsored by Vance, allows Pennsylvania National Guard members who were deployed overseas for at least 120 consecutive days in the past 24 months to receive a fishing license for $1.
Senate Bill 1119, sponsored by Baker, allows Pennsylvania National Guard members who were deployed overseas for at least 120 consecutive days in the past 24 months to obtain a hunting license for free.
Vance’s district includes all of Cumberland County and Carroll, Fairview, Franklin, Monaghan, Warrington and Washington townships and Dillsburg, Franklintown and Wellsville boroughs in York County.
Baker’s district includes all of Pike, Wayne and Wyoming counties and parts of Luzerne, Monroe and Susquehanna counties.
Brian Grove, Sen. Baker
Tracy Polovick, Sen. Vance