Free park entry permit for disabled veterans advanced

Lawmakers gave first-round approval Feb. 12 to a bill that would allow certain disabled veterans to apply for a free lifetime state park entry permit.

Sen. Tim Gragert
Sen. Tim Gragert

Introduced by Creighton Sen. Tim Gragert, LB770 would require the state Game and Parks Commission to create and issue a free park entry permit for qualified disabled veterans in addition to the existing annual and temporary permits.

To qualify, a veteran must be a Nebraska resident who has been honorably discharged and either rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service in the U.S. military or receiving a pension from the department as a result of total and permanent disability that is not connected to military service.

The permits would be perpetual and would become void only if a veteran no longer meets the eligibility criteria.

LB770 also would increase the maximum fee for a nonresident motor vehicle annual park entry permit from $45 to $65. It would increase the maximum fee for a nonresident motor vehicle temporary park entry permit from $8 to $12.

Gragert said the proposed increase in maximum fees for nonresident permits would cover the cost of providing the free disabled veteran permits.

Senators voted 38-0 to advance the bill to select file.

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