SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Legislation to make more members of Gold Star families eligible to receive dedicated license plates has been introduced. 

House Bill 5078 is sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“When a brave individual decides to step up and serve our country, their family serves, too,” Ellman said. “Missed holidays, birthdays and other special occasions are the price our service members and their families pay, and when a life is lost in the line of duty, loved ones are left with empty chairs and broken hearts.”

The bill expands the current eligibility list for Gold Star Family license plates to include stepchildren, adopted children and half-siblings of veterans who lost their lives serving in a branch of the United States Armed Forces, and waives the registration fee for children in Gold Star Families.

The legislation also aligns existing language regarding eligibility for a Gold Star lapel button with language used by the Department of Defense.

“Gold Star Families have made sacrifices that cannot be repaid,” Ellman said. “This legislation ensures that we are able to offer them the utmost respect and recognition for that sacrifice.”

 The legislation passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. It now goes before the full Senate for consideration. 

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