House approves Barbin bill that provides therapeutic exemptions for fishing licenses

Measure aiding angling outings for veterans heads to state Senate

HARRISBURG, April 5 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today voted unanimously to approve state Rep. Bryan Barbin’s measure that would exempt veterans and cancer survivors from having to purchase fishing licenses for therapeutic angling programs sponsored by veterans and other service groups.

“Fishing, and just being alongside Pennsylvania’s beautiful waterways for stress-free relaxation, is therapy that helps bind the wounds of military veterans and others seeking to overcome physical and mental challenges,” said Barbin, Democratic chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

House Bill 675 is designed to assist service organizations sponsoring what are typically one-day fishing events designed to promote recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, depression and addiction, as well as physical and mental challenges.

“Therapy programs sponsored by veterans homes and organizations such as Casting for Recovery for breast cancer survivors, Project Healing Waters and Wounded Warriors Project would get a boost from the legislation,” said Barbin, noting that as many as 20 percent of all military veterans have injuries that might not be apparent to untrained eyes but need professional attention. “This simple and warranted exemption from having to obtain a fishing license for a waterside therapy session can help the healing process for those who sacrificed so much for us.”