New Law Supports Youth Outdoorsmanship

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Sparta, Ill. — At the World Shooting and Recreation Complex, which was shut down briefly during the previous administration’s budget impasse, Governor JB Pritzker offered a renewed commitment to the world-class site and signed a new law supporting youth outdoorsmanship.

“One of the greatest elements of this facility is the opportunity it provides our young people to enjoy outdoor sports and recreation, whether it’s shooting disciplines, fishing or camping,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m here today is because I want to emphasize that it ought to be easier for our youth to enjoy all the outdoor recreation our state has to offer. The Illinois hunting community asked for these changes, and we listened because I believe that expanding hunting opportunities will have a positive ripple effect on places like Sparta, where people come to hone their skills.”

House Bill 3623 allows young hunters expanded opportunities to learn safe hunting practices. The bill lifts the one-year cap on the Apprentice Hunter License and creates a three-year pilot program, allowing young hunters statewide access during the three-day, youth-only deer hunting season. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

“This program will help grow the next generation of hunters and give them an opportunity to develop important safety practices early,” said Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo). “Increasing the number of hunters will help maintain the state deer herd and generate economic activity across Illinois.”

The governor also emphasized the investments the Rebuild Illinois capital plan is making in the region: $92 million for new facilities at John A. Logan College, SIU, and Rend Lake College; $200 million for new lanes and new bridges along a 33-mile stretch of I-57; nearly $3 million for a rehabilitated pump station on the Kaskaskia River; and $420 million to expand high-speed internet in communities across the state.

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