Senate bill to give honorably discharged vets free entry to state parks

Ponca City Now - February 13, 2020 2:59 pm

Frank Simpson

Senator Frank Simpson

OKLAHOMA CITY – Under current state law, honorably discharged veterans get free entry to all state parks and museums.  However, the law is written assuming state parks charge per person rather than per vehicle, which parks are starting to do.  To ensure these veterans continue getting free entry, Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, authored Senate Bill 1185 at the request of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.  The bill was unanimously approved Thursday by the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

“Many of our state parks are beginning to change how they charge entry fees, so we wanted to make sure that all of our veterans are still able to enjoy these beautiful places free of charge,” Simpson said. “This will also allow any of the veteran’s friends or family in the car to also gain free entry.  Again, just a small way to thank them for their service and sacrifice to their country and our great state.”

SB 1185 removes the requirement for an honorably discharged veteran to present a valid Oklahoma driver license or state photo identification card and military discharge papers in order to receive free admission to a state park. Additionally, the measure provides for veterans to receive free admission for one vehicle, which must be pre-registered with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department using appropriate veteran documentation. For museums, veterans must show appropriate veteran documentation at time of entry, which may include an Oklahoma driver license, state photo identification card, or military discharge papers.

The bill now goes before the full Senate.



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