The Michigan House today approved legislation supported by state Rep. Ray Franz that would provide free Recreation Passports for disabled veterans, former prisoners of war and Medal of Honor recipients.
House Bill 4297 would give disabled veterans free entry at all state parks, recreation areas and boat access sites. House Bill 4439 is a companion bill that would allow the passport stickers on Medal of Honor, POW and other veterans’ license plates that do not expire annually. “This is another way to show our appreciation to veterans,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “Providing free access to state parks is an excellent way to honor these disabled veterans and show our appreciation for their service to our state and nation.”
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 the bills 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.
The bills now head to the Senate for consideration.