Veterans could get free state park entry

The Michigan House this week approved two measures that would provide free state park entry to Medal of Honor recipients, disabled veterans and former prisoners of war.
House Bills 4297 and 4439, introduced by Rep. Frank Foster, would waive the annual $11 state park Recreation Passport fee for vehicle license plates issued to those military veterans.

“We are proud of all our military veterans and thankful for the service they have given to us and our nation,” said Foster, R-Petoskey. “Everyone can agree that the veterans eligible for the Recreation Passport waiver program I’ve proposed have gone above and beyond their duty to their country.”

According to the Secretary of State, as of November 2012 there were two specialty Medal of Honor license plates issued within Michigan, 7,642 disabled veteran plates, and 426 ex-POW plates, for a total of 8,070.

Under HB 4439 only an individual’s first ex-prisoner of war license plate is eligible for the Recreation Passport waiver, even though the person may receive additional ex-POW plates for more personal vehicles. The bill also creates a Recreation Passport donation option for vehicles with registrations that do not expire annually.
HBs 4297 and 4439 now go to the Senate for consideration.