Va. veteran ID bill passes unanimously (ABC8NEWS)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- Virginia veterans' wallets could soon get a little lighter.

Right now, veterans can have two ID cards - a $10 Veteran Identification Card, which provides proof of veteran status for discounts from retailers and restaurants, and the standard driver's license.

Del. John McGuire (R-Henrico) has been working to merge the two, at no cost to those who served.

Now, McGuire's bill has passed the House and the Senate.

It would allow for a veteran indicator to be placed on Virginia driver's licenses, similar to that of an organ donor.

The freshman Republican lawmaker said it would impact nearly 1 million Virginia veterans. McGuire is a veteran himself. He served as a Navy SEAL for a decade. He said it was a request he heard again and again on the campaign trail. His bill, HB737, got a lot of support on both sides of the aisle.

While most bills might get a handful of co-patrons, he made it his mission to collect the signatures of every single House Republican and House Democrat.

"I intercepted people in the parking deck and in the elevators and they kind of joked in my caucus, 'That Navy SEAL guy is popping out of the bushes,'" he said.

McGuire said this is an issue lawmakers had been working on for years without success.

But this year, it passed the House 99-0 and the Senate 38-0.

"I think it's a good message to say we can come together and we can get things done. We Americans -- not Republicans of Democrats -- but we Americans support those that risked their life for our country," said McGuire.

The bill now heads to the governor's desk.

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  • John McGuire
    published this page in News 2018-04-06 14:23:47 -0400