The State Senate this week approved legislation sponsored by Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) that would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for hunting and fur-taking licenses.
Stefano said Senate Bill 1166 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.
“Senate Bill 1166 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.”
Stefano’s legislation will include a three-year sunset provision, to give the General Assembly the opportunity to review its effectiveness.
“The Game commission is a user-fee supported entity, yet they cannot set their own user fees,” Stefano said. “Instead they must now come to the legislature, where it is so hard to achieve anything let alone an increase in a fee, in order to increase these fees. This bill would help us take a giant step forward in managing our wildlife and promoting our historic tradition of hunting in our commonwealth.”
The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Ben Wren (717) 787-7175