Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) today held his first meeting as chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee. The panel reported three bills out of committee and to the Senate, including a measure the Senator sponsored which would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for hunting and fur-taking licenses.
Stefano said S.B. 192 would allow the commission to set its own license costs while providing the legislature with necessary oversight of the organization.
He said the Game Commission’s fees are currently determined by legislation. The Commission is not supported with revenues from the General Fund but instead relies on the fees paid by license holders.
Stefano noted that it has been 17 years since the legislature has granted the commission a license increase, providing a severe financial strain on its operation.
“This bill would give the Commission the flexibility and authority to develop and maintain a fee structure that generates sufficient revenues to pay for its activities on behalf of hunters and trappers,” Stefano said. “It’s a common sense and much-needed change that will benefit Pennsylvania sportsmen and enable the Commission to better respond to changes in market conditions and other areas.”
The committee also approved two additional bills:
- B. 30, sponsored by Senator John Eichelberger, which would authorize the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) to establish the fees for fishing and boating related licenses and permits by regulatory action, and expands the allowable use of funds from the sale of Lake Erie permits.
- B. 123, sponsored by Senator Mario Scavello which would permit falconry on Sunday.
Stefano was appointed Chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee for the 2017-18 Legislative Session in January by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25). The Committee participates in the critical task of helping to manage Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and ensuring that the average citizen can access outdoor recreation.
For More information contact Mark Fetzko (Committee Executive Director) 717-787-7175