Why It Matters: 2023 proved to be yet another busy and exciting year in the Old Line State. With regular sessions having adjourned sine die, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is taking a moment to reflect on its efforts to support legislation that increases access and opportunities for hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and trappers in Maryland. There was no shortage of occasions for CSF to work with the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and in-state and national sportsmen’s organizations in supporting pro-sportsmen policies – many of which are currently on the Governor’s desk.
- The Maryland General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 10, but not before sending several pro-sportsmen bills to the Governor’s desk.
- CSF worked closely with leaders of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and in-state and national partners on a number of policies, including Sunday hunting, increasing funding for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, creating a Black Bass Conservation Fund, and providing non-resident students the opportunity to purchase hunting licenses at resident rates – just to name a few.
- While sessions may be over, the work continues for CSF as efforts are made to have the Governor put pen to paper and enact the remaining pro-sportsmen bills on his desk.
On Monday, April 10, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned sine die after an eventful four months of regular sessions. CSF worked alongside in-state and national partners on a variety of sportsmen efforts – some of which currently sit on the Governor’s desk. While the list below highlights examples of CSF’s work in the Old Line State, it is by no means an exhaustive accounting of all of its work this year.
House Bill 466, House Bill 1087
CSF submitted a letter of support to Governor Wes Moore regarding two bills that would expand the existing Sunday hunting authorizations in Worcester and Wicomico Counties (respectively) to all “game bird and game mammal seasons” on each Sunday. If enacted, these counties would be brought in line with 11 others that allow for unabridged Sunday hunting opportunities. Currently, both bills are awaiting the Governor’s signature.
House Bill 696, Senate Bill 422
These companion bills would establish a Black Bass Conservation Fund within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – a new, voluntary funding mechanism that will not only benefit one of Maryland’s most iconic sportfish species but could also serve as a model for other states for addressing specific fisheries conservation needs. Senator Jack Bailey, Co-Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council authored Senate Bill 422. CSF worked with several angling partners in submitting sign-on letters of support for these bills. At this time, both bills are eligible for the Governor’s signature. Please find CSF’s House Bill 696 letter here and Senate Bill 422 letter here.
House Bill 983, Senate Bill 327
CSF supported two companion pro-sportsmen packages that would, among several policy initiatives, increase fees for certain hunting and trapping licenses and offer non-resident students the opportunity to purchase hunting licenses at resident rates (language introduced by Senator Bailey). Initially, both bills also authorized the hunting of migratory birds on Sundays, but this provision was unfortunately pulled during work sessions. Nonetheless, both bills sit on Governor Moore’s desk, awaiting his signature. Please find CSF’s S. 327 testimony here.