Hunting & Fishing License Fee Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

House Bill 4668, which contains Governor Snyder's proposed hunting and fishing license fee restructure, passed the House Appropriations Committee today and will move on to the full House of Representatives.
The committee approved a substitute for the original bill, introduced by Rep. Jon Bumstead (R - Newago), which made sure that more of the fees from the duck stamp will go directly toward waterfowl habitat restoration and acquisition.
During his introductory remarks, Rep. Bumstead noted that the structure of license fees will be simplified, moving from 227 to around 40 different license types. He also noted that the Department of Natural Resources has pledged to use the approximately $19 million in additional revenue generated to improve fish and wildlife habitat, hire more conservation officers, and do more outreach to hunters and anglers.
An additional $1 surcharge will also be added to base hunting licenses, fishing licenses and multi-species licenses that will be directed to marketing the benefits of hunting and fishing to the non-hunting public.
Representatives from Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Ducks Unlimited, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan State United Coon Hunters, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Michigan Fox Hunters Association, UP Bear Houndsmen Association., Hammond Bay Area Anglers Association, Mich. Trappers and Predator Callers Association, and Trout Unlimited submitted cards in support of the package.
To read  why MUCC supports the package, click here.
The bill passed the committee with bipartisan support. No one voted against it, though seven members passed (didn't vote). A humorous moment occurred during roll call when Rep. Greg MacMaster (R - Kewadin) replied, "Oh, sure, why not?" when asked his vote.

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