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Rauner signs bills affecting veterans

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed several bills on Sunday affecting Illinois veterans, including a measure establishing a discount card program and another offering property tax breaks for those with military-related disabilities.

The Republican first-term governor’s office released a short statement Sunday saying six bills had been signed in honor of Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair. Veterans received free entrance to the fair on Sunday with events honoring those who’ve served.

One newly signed law provides tax breaks to veterans who make accessibility upgrades to their homes, such as wheelchair ramps and lifts. Such changes wouldn’t increase the assessed valuation of the property for years after improvements are made, under the law. It would also allow certain disabled veterans to quality for an annual property tax exemption of $2,500. The legislation, which takes effect immediately, received unanimous support from lawmakers.

Another plan that also takes effect immediately says the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs will establish and administer a veterans and active duty discount card program for use at participating merchants. House and Senate lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of the legislation.

Other newly signed laws also make minor changes to the rules for flying flags and scholarships for children of veterans.