OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 207

AN ACT CONCERNING RECENT INCREASES IN HUNTING, FISHING LICENSES, CAMPING AND STATE PARK ADMISSION FEES, INCREASING CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLE FINES AND AUTHORIZING THE HUNTING OF DEER BY PISTOL OR REVOLVER.

SUMMARY:

This bill decreases several sportsman's fees, caps camping and state park fees, and increases certain motor vehicle violation fines.

The bill requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) commissioner to create, by October 1, 2010, a limited motor vehicle operator's permit for individuals convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, or both, allowing operators to drive between the operator's residence and (1) place of employment or (2) college or university attended. The permit fee is $ 100. The DMV commissioner may adopt regulations to implement this provision ( 30). It is unclear how this provision affects the law, which allows someone whose driver's license has been suspended, with some exceptions, to apply to DMV for a special driving permit that allows the person to drive to and from a work place or in connection with performing employment or higher education functions. A person cannot get a special permit under this existing law if his or her license has previously been suspended for driving under the influence (CGS 14-37a).

The bill permits pistol hunting of deer on private land of at least 10 acres, between November 1 and December 31, for a $ 5. The hunter must (1) own the land or (2) have the consent of the land owner. Hunters must use a cartridge of at least . 357 calibers ( 15).

The bill also creates and allows for donations to the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation account.

The bill requires that funds accruing from any permit, tag, or stamp fees, excluding the migratory bird conservation stamp and fees paid by trappers and anglers, fund the programs and functions of the Bureau of Natural Resources within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) according to federal regulations. It also requires the DEP to submit an annual report to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, detailing the funds raised, expenses, and spending purposes of sportsman's fees and stamps.

The bill requires the DEP commissioner to establish (1) procedures and business processes for using the Internet and other means of communication to conduct transactions for licenses, permits, stamps, and tags and (2) a schedule of the portion of fees agents may retain.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except provisions on (1) restoration projects, the DEP Bureau of Natural Resources, and uses of the migratory bird conservation account and funds from the sale of stamps and art products are effective July 1, 2010; (2) DEP regulations for Internet communications and transactions are effective January 1, 2011; and (3) the migratory bird conservation stamp and an additional voluntary donation are effective July 1, 2011.

1, 37-38 — CONNECTICUT MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION STAMP AND DONATION

The bill decreases, from $ 15 to $ 13, the fee for purchasing a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp which a person must have to hunt waterfowl (CGS 26-27b). It also eliminates the (1) requirement that the stamp have the hunter's signature written in ink across the stamp's face, (2) July 1 issue date, and (3) town clerks' ability to retain a 50-cent fee for issuing the stamp. It allows the DEP commissioner to set the issuance fee that agents may retain instead of the current 50-cent fee. It requires the Citizens' Advisory Board for the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp to advise the commissioner on the expenditure of funds generated from the sale of stamps and art products.

The bill also creates and allows for additional donations to be deposited in the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation account, maintained by the treasurer in the General Fund. Funds in the account must be used only for (1) developing, managing, preserving, conserving, acquiring, purchasing, and maintaining waterfowl habitat and wetlands or acquisition of related recreational rights or interests or (2) designing, producing, promoting, procuring, and selling prints and related artwork.

2-14, 16 — DECREASED SPORTSMAN'S FEES AND SUPERSPORT LICENSES

Resident Sportsman's Licenses

The bill creates two new resident firearms supersport licenses: (1) all waters fishing, firearms hunting, firearms shotgun or rifle private land deer hunting, wild turkey hunting in spring on private land, and muzzleloading on private land for an $ 84 annual fee or (2) all waters fishing, firearms hunting, migratory bird conservation stamp, and migratory bird harvest permit for a $ 60 annual fee.

The bill also decreases resident sportsman's fees (CGS 26-28).

License

Current Fee ($ )

Proposed Fee ($ )

Resident firearms hunting

28

18

Resident fishing

40

25

One-day resident marine fishing

15

5

Resident all-waters fishing

50

32

Resident combination (inland waters fishing and firearms hunting)

56

35

Resident combination (marine water fishing and firearms hunting)

50

25

Resident combination (all waters fishing and firearms hunting)

60

38

Resident combination (all waters fishing and bow and arrow hunting)

84

65

Resident firearms supersport (all waters fishing, firearms hunting, and wild turkey in spring on private land)

116

80

Resident archery supersport (all waters fishing, bow and arrow hunting, and wild turkey on private land in spring)

104

82

Resident trapping

50

32

Resident junior trapping

15

5

Junior firearms hunting

15

5

Firearms permit

28

18

Resident bow and arrow hunting

60

38

Bow and arrow hunting (age 12-16)

26

17

Non-Resident Sportsman's Licenses

The bill decreases several non-resident sportsman's licenses (CGS 26-28 and 26-86a-c).

License

Current Fee ($ )

Proposed Fee ($ )

Non-resident firearms hunting

134

84

Non-resident inland waters fishing

80

50

Non-resident inland waters fishing, 3-day

32

20

Non-resident marine fishing

60

15

Non-resident marine fishing, 3-day

24

8

Non-resident all waters fishing

100

63

Non-resident combination (firearms hunting and inlands fishing)

176

110

Non-resident combination (firearms hunting and all waters fishing)

190

120

Non-resident combination (firearms hunting and marine fishing)

170

94

Non-resident firearms permit

100

63

Non-resident bow and arrow hunting

200

125

Other Sportsman's Licenses

The bill decreases several other sportsman's licenses.

Statute

License

Current Fee ($ )

Proposed Fee ($ )

26-37

Duplicate license

15

9

26-39

Organized hound pack hunting

70

44

26-40

Wild game or wild game bird breeding

42

27

26-42

Fur buying (non-resident)

84

55

26-42

Fur buying (authorized agent of resident)

56

35

26-45

Bait dealer

100

63

26-48

Private shooting preserve

100

63

26-48a

Turkey stamp

28

18

26-48a

Migratory game bird

15

4

26-48a

Pheasant stamp

28

18

26-48a

Salmon stamp

56

28

26-48a

Wild turkey permit

28

18

26-49b

Hunting dog training area

28

18

26-51

Field dog trial

15

9

26-52

Field dog trial (state land)

56

35

26-52

Field dog trial (private land)

28

18

26-58

Taxidermy

168

105

26-60

Scientific or educational collection of crustaceans

40

25

31 AND 33 — CAPPING CAMPING AND STATE PARK FEES

The bill caps the fees for leasing state campsites and buildings and parking, admission, boat launching, and other uses to no greater than (1) 120% of the fees charged April 1, 2009 for residents and (2) 150% of the fees charged April 1, 2009 for non-residents. The DEP commissioner must set these fees by April 1, 2010, prior to the bill's effective date (upon passage).

16-30 — INCREASED MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATION FINES

The bill increases several fines for motor vehicle violations.

Statute

Violation

Current Fine ($ )

Proposed Fine ($ )

14-100a(c)

Seat belt requirement

15

25

14-13

Requirement to carry registration and insurance card

35

50

14-17

Changing appearance or mechanical equipment of motor vehicle without notice

35

50

14-26

Motor bus, service bus, taxicab, school bus, and motor vehicle in livery service registration (first offense)

35

50

14-26

Motor bus, service bus, taxicab, school bus, and motor vehicle in livery service registration (subsequent offenses)

35-50

50

14-36a

Operating without appropriate commercial license

35-50

50

14-40a

Operating a motorcycle without license endorsement

35-50

50

14-66c

Towing motorized personal property

35-50

50

14-81

Trailer or semitrailer requirements

35-50

50

14-145

Towing from private property

35-50

50

14-164c

Operating or allowing operation of uninspected or noncompliant motor vehicles (emissions)

35

50

14-223

Failure to stop for officer

35

50

14-285

Requirement to have mirror if driver lacks free and unobstructed view

35-50

50

51-164m(a)

Speeding fines

At least 35

At least 50

34-36 – RESTORATION

Current law states that Connecticut assents to the provisions of the congressional acts entitled “An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Wildlife Restoration Projects, and for Other Purposes” and “An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Fish Restoration and Management Projects, and for Other Purposes,” which provide that no funds accruing to the state from license fees paid by fishermen or hunting licenses shall be diverted for any other purpose than the protection, propagation, preservation and investigation of fish and game and administration of the functions of the related department. The bill includes funds accruing from any permit, tag, or stamp fees, excluding the migratory bird conservation stamp and fees paid by trappers and anglers, and requires the fees fund the programs and functions of the Bureau of Natural Resources within DEP, according to federal regulations.

The bill requires the DEP to submit, by October 1, an annual report to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program chief, within the Fish and Wildlife Service of the federal Department of the Interior. The report must include, for the year ending June 30, the (1) total license, permit, stamp, and tag fees paid by hunters, trappers, and anglers, excluding the Connecticut Migratory Bird Stamp; (2) amounts expended on fish and wildlife programs; and (3) purposes for the spent funds. The report must also include the total expenditure amounts for (1) protection, propagation, preservation, and investigation of fish and game; (2) operation, administration, and maintenance of fish and wildlife facilities; (3) operation and administration of wildlife management areas, fish and wildlife access areas, and angler and hunter education and outreach programs; (4) restoration and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitats; and (5) administration of fish and wildlife technical assistance programs.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

30

Nay

0

(03/17/2010)