Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States & States Program Administrator
On June 24, House Bill 808 (HB 808), legislation that would grant the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) the regulatory authority to set license, permit, and tag fees, received an affirmative concurrence vote (157-44-1) in the House of Representatives. HB 808 is co-sponsored by numerous members of the bipartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and will be transmitted to Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Tom Wolf following the successful result of last Wednesday’s vote. Just a day prior, on June 23, the Senate voted with strong bipartisan support (44-5) on the slightly amended version of the bill.
The price of fishing licenses in Pennsylvania has not increased in about two decades, thus the current prices are lagging behind inflation. Should Governor Wolf pen his name to this bill, the PFBC will have the authority to implement smaller, more regular increases as needed, rather than going to the legislature and asking its permission to raise prices. The latter often results in a larger jump in price that negatively impacts angler participation.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has been advocating for the passage of this provision for several years, and most recently was party to a sign-on letter to Senate leadership, encouraging swift action on the bill before the legislature goes into summer recess. CSF will continue to remain actively engaged with the Governor’s office, PFBC, and Caucus members towards seeing HB 808 signed into law, and towards advancing similar authority for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in the years ahead. Additional details on the status of this bill will be provided as they become available.
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Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (5.22%)
- Increase access to public lands. (25.07%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.04%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (13.09%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.24%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.34%)