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Arkansas House passes law to expand eligibility for disabled veteran license plates

By: - January 23, 2023 6:30 pm
A truck parked in a handicapped parking spot next to an empty handicapped spot. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The Arkansas House voted Monday to expand the pool of disable veterans eligible for special license plates.

Without dissent, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 1101 by Rep. Andrew Collins (D-Little Rock).

It allows any veteran who has been determined to be at least 10% disabled due to their military service to register for a Disabled Veteran license plate from the state.

Rep. Andrew Collins (D-Little Rock)

 

State law currently requires eligible veterans to have a service-connected disability of at least 30%.

The special plates are free but have an annual renewal fee of $1.

Collins told House members on Monday that the bill worked in tandem with House Bill 1086 by Rep. Mark Berry (R-Ozark), the former adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard.

HB 1086 tweaked Arkansas’ Disabled Veteran specialty tag law with the aim of ensuring only veterans with disabilities that affect their mobility are authorized to park in handicap spaces.

Berry told representatives last week that he was bothered by seeing some veterans without mobility challenges take spaces from those who truly need them.

His bill would require disabled veterans who need to use handicap parking spaces to apply for a the same handicap permit as civilians.

Both bills will now await action in the Senate.

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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. He spent the better part of the last decade investigating and reporting on Arkansas government and politics. For three years, he covered education policy, medical marijuana and the Arkansas General Assembly as part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazetteā€™s Capitol Bureau. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. Hunter got his start in journalism covering sports for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.

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