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6/14/2023 General Assembly votes to remove state park fees for Rhode Island Gold Star Families
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today approved legislation introduced by Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) and Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, Johnston) to remove all state park fees for Gold Star Families.

A Gold Star Family is one that lost a family member during wars or military operations, and is therefore entitled to display the military service banner, which is bordered in red with a gold star in the middle.

The legislation (2023-H 5999, 2023-S 0748) would provide free admission to any state-owned recreational facility for Gold Star Families with exceptions for docking slips.

“Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice leave behind a legacy of honor and heroism, but also loving families who will always feel the emptiness of their loss,” said Representative Fellela. “Offering free admission to state-owned facilities is another very small way to thank Gold Star Families for that sacrifice.”

Rhode Island has long held a place of honor for Gold Star Families. The General Assembly set aside the third Sunday in October every year to observe Rhode Island Gold Star Family Day, acknowledging in state law that “this nation and state owe an enormous debt to those grieving parents who have lost children in war.”

“No one has given more to their countries than the families of the fallen,” said Senator Ciccone. “It’s often called ‘the honor that nobody wants.’ There is nothing we can do to ease that pain, but eliminating the fees for state facilities is at least a way to acknowledge their sacrifice.”
The measure now moves to the governor’s office.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903