Matt Willhite Unveils Proposal to Waive Fishing, Hunting Permit Fees for Florida Military Members, Veterans

Last week, state Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington, showcased his proposal “to provide military service members and veterans a discount on hunting and fishing licenses in Florida” including offering “active military and honorably discharged veterans free hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing licenses or permits in Florida.”

The proposal would also reduce licenses and permits for active-duty military members and veterans from other states, offering them 50 percent discounts on hunting permits and licenses when they come to the Sunshine State. Willhite’s office noted, “these licenses and permits can range from $17.00 to $494.00.”

“For many members of the military and veterans, outdoor activities are a healthy and productive way to relieve stress. Florida has a rich environment and a broad list of outdoor activities to participate in, including hunting and fishing. Our active military and veterans sacrifice a lot, and when we have the opportunity to show our appreciation for their sacrifice, we should,” Willhite said about his bill. “In addition, Florida’s water bodies and natural wildlife attract visitors from all over the country. By providing a 50 percent discount on these licenses and permits to veterans visiting from out of state, we will incentivize tourism and give businesses an extra boost when visitors come to Florida.”

After serving as a corpsman in the Navy and serving as a firefighter and paramedic with the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue where he rose to the rank of captain, Willhite was elected to the Wellington Village Council where he served as vice mayor. In 2016, Willhite was elected to the Florida House and is currently in his third term.

Kevin Derby
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