COLLINSVILLE – In a bipartisan effort to protect Illinois veterans, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, recently introduced legislation to allow for additional penalties for assault and battery committed against a service member or veteran.

“Any attack or assault of a veteran is an outrageous crime and should be considered as such,” said Stuart. “These brave men and women have sacrificed to protect our country, and we in turn should do what we can to protect them in their everyday lives after they have served.”

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Senate Bill 2467 allows for enhanced penalties for crimes of battery and assault when committed against a military service member or veteran, bringing penalties for these crimes in line with penalties against battery and assault against other protected classes, including teachers, peace officers and community policing volunteers.

“It is a horrible thing when someone goes out of their way to harm an active or retired member of our armed forces,” continued Stuart. “I have fought for veterans in property tax relief, access to higher education and access to mental health resources for those suffering after returning from combat. It is now time for us in the legislature to help veterans and service members when they are wrongfully attacked by making sure that those who commit acts of violence are held accountable.”

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