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New law extends firefighter exams for veterans


From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation allowing Illinois veterans between the ages of 35 and 40 to apply to become firefighters was signed into law Monday.

Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, sponsored the new law in the Senate, and Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, initiated it in the House.

“Ability — not age — should be what qualifies a candidate, especially a veteran, to be a firefighter. Keeping fire departments fully staffed is always an issue — especially in rural areas — and we shouldn’t turn veterans away because of age,” Sullivan said.

The new law, House Bill 3203, allows veterans who turned 35 while serving in the military and are currently under the age of 40, to take an exam for a firefighter position.

Currently, no one who is 35 or older can apply to be a firefighter unless they have previously served as one.

The law applies to active duty or reserve members of the military, including national guardsmen.

The governor signed the law Monday, and it takes effect immediately.

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