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New law backed by Stadelman ensures veterans have full access to benefits

stadelman domviolSPRINGFIELD – Legislation that will ensure members of the armed forces and reservists receive designation as a veteran on their driver’s licenses and state IDs was signed into law today.

State Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was a chief co-sponsor of the measure in the Senate. It was initiated because some Illinois National Guard members were concerned that they would not be designated as a veteran because they were not called to active duty.

“People who serve our country and make sacrifices for our freedoms deserve to be identified as veterans and have access to benefits,” Stadelman said. “Besides giving these veterans some well-deserved recognition, the new law will also save them a little money.”

Under the new law, Illinois National Guard members and reservists who have not been called to active duty can receive the veteran identification on their drivers licenses and identification cards.

“This bipartisan initiative is good for veterans, and I am glad the governor signed it into law,” Stadelman said.

Last year, the governor signed into law a bill Senator Stadelman sponsored that requires the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs to set up a program allowing those with a veteran's driver's license to qualify for discounts at some businesses.

The legislation approved today, Senate Bill 2173, is effective immediately.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Education; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Appropriations I; Commerce and Economic Development.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.