JOLIET, Ill. – August 10, 2012. In addition to several other laws, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law at a VFW post in Joliet to honor partially disabled veterans with special vehicle license plates. House Bill 1151 allows veterans who may not qualify for disabled license plates to still be honored for their sacrifice with a special license plate. Today's action is the latest by Governor Quinn to support veterans across Illinois.
"Our veterans who have sacrificed so much for the good of this country deserve honor and thanks," Governor Quinn said. “This new license plate will remind us
of our modern-day heroes each time we see them on the road.”
Sponsored by Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr. (D-Joliet) and Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero), House Bill 1151 provides that the new license plate will be issued at no cost to eligible veterans, similar to the Illinois Disabled Veteran License Plate but without the international symbol of access. The new license plate honors veterans whose disability - such as neurological disorders, hearing loss or post-traumatic stress disorder - may not entitle them to disabled parking privileges. An initiative of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, the bill is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“We cannot thank our veterans enough,” Rep. Walsh said. “The next time I see a car with a Disabled Veteran license plate, I plan to give a thumbs-up to the driver to show my appreciation.”
Governor Quinn is a long-time champion of veterans’ affairs. As State Treasurer, he launched Operation Homefront to inform National Guard members and reservists of their rights under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. As Lieutenant Governor, his Illinois Military Family Relief Act to aid the spouses and children of those called to active duty became a model for other states. As Governor, Quinn has visited Illinois troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Germany, and has called for the hiring of 100,000 veterans in Illinois by 2020.
The law is effective Jan. 1.
While at the VFW Post, the Governor also signed four bills sponsored by area lawmaker Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport): House Bill 4636, House Bill 4662, House Bill 4663 and House Bill 5650.