Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 365

    February Session, 2016

Substitute Senate Bill No. 139

Senate, March 31, 2016

The Committee on Environment reported through SEN. KENNEDY of the 12th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO ESTABLISH A TROUT STAMP AND A RESIDENT GAME BIRD CONSERVATION STAMP, AMENDING CERTAIN HUNTING AND FISHING FEES FOR RESIDENTS LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND ERECTING A PHEASANT STOCKING ACCOUNT AND PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 26-48a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The commissioner may establish, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, standards for the management of salmon, trout, migratory and resident game birds in accordance with section 26-92, pheasant and turkey which shall include provision for the issuance of permits, tags or stamps. The commissioner may charge a fee for a permit, tag or stamp as follows: Not more than nineteen dollars for turkey; not more than [thirteen] seventeen dollars for migratory game birds; not more than twenty-eight dollars for resident game birds; not more than twenty-eight dollars for pheasant, not more than ten dollars for trout and not more than twenty-eight dollars for salmon. No person shall be issued a permit, tag or stamp for migratory birds, resident game birds, pheasant or turkey without first obtaining a license to hunt and no person shall be issued a permit, tag or stamp for salmon or trout without first obtaining a license to fish. Notwithstanding any provision of any regulation to the contrary, the commissioner may charge a fee of nineteen dollars for the issuance of a permit to hunt wild turkey on state-owned or private land during the fall season.

(b) Such permits, tags or stamps shall be issued to qualified applicants by any town clerk. Application for such permits, tags or stamps shall be on such form and require of the applicant such information as the commissioner may prescribe. The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 authorizing a town clerk to retain part of any fee paid for a permit, tag or stamp issued by such town clerk pursuant to this section, provided the amount retained shall not be less than fifty cents.

(c) There is established an account to be known as the "pheasant stocking account", which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The funds in such account shall be used for the purpose of conducting a pheasant stocking program that includes the purchase and stocking of pheasants. The following funds shall be deposited in such account: (1) All funds collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section for pheasant, and (2) any voluntary donation made in furtherance of the pheasant stocking program. The pheasant stocking program described in this subsection shall be conducted within the available resources of such account.

Sec. 2. Section 26-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) to (f), inclusive, of this section, the fees for firearms hunting, archery hunting, trapping and sport fishing licenses or for the combination thereof shall be as follows: (1) Resident firearms hunting license, nineteen dollars; (2) resident fishing license, twenty-eight dollars; (3) resident marine waters fishing license, ten dollars; (4) one-day resident marine waters fishing license, five dollars; (5) resident all-waters fishing license, thirty-two dollars; (6) resident combination license to fish in inland waters and firearms hunt, thirty-eight dollars; (7) resident combination license to fish in marine waters and firearms hunt, twenty-five dollars; (8) resident combination license to fish in all waters and firearms hunt, forty dollars; (9) resident combination license to fish in all waters and bow and arrow permit to hunt deer and small game issued pursuant to section 26-86c, sixty-five dollars; (10) resident firearms super sport license to fish in all waters and firearms hunt, firearms private land shotgun or rifle deer permit issued pursuant to section 26-86a, and permit to hunt wild turkey during the spring season on private land issued pursuant to section 26-48a, as amended by this act, seventy dollars; (11) resident archery super sport license to fish in all waters, bow and arrow permit to hunt deer and small game issued pursuant to section 26-86c and permit to hunt wild turkey during the spring season on private land issued pursuant to section 26-48a, as amended by this act, eighty-two dollars; (12) resident firearms super sport license to fish in all waters and firearms hunt, firearms private land shotgun or rifle deer permit, muzzleloader private land deer permit, pursuant to section 26-86 and private land permit to hunt wild turkey during spring season pursuant to section 26-48a, as amended by this act, eighty-four dollars; (13) resident firearms super sport license to fish in all waters and firearms hunt, migratory bird conservation stamp, and migratory bird harvest permit (HIP), fifty dollars; (14) resident trapping license, thirty-four dollars; (15) resident junior trapping license for persons under sixteen years of age, eleven dollars; (16) junior firearms hunting license, eleven dollars; (17) nonresident firearms hunting license, ninety-one dollars; (18) nonresident inland waters fishing license, fifty-five dollars; (19) nonresident inland waters fishing license for a period of three consecutive days, twenty-two dollars; (20) nonresident marine waters fishing license, fifteen dollars; (21) nonresident marine waters fishing license for a period of three consecutive days, eight dollars; (22) nonresident all-waters fishing license, sixty-three dollars; (23) nonresident combination license to firearms hunt and inland waters fish, one hundred ten dollars; (24) nonresident combination license to fish in all waters and firearms hunt, one hundred twenty dollars; (25) nonresident combination license to fish in marine waters and firearms hunt, ninety-four dollars; and (26) nonresident trapping license, two hundred fifty dollars. Persons sixty-five years of age and over who have been residents of this state for not less than one year and who meet the requirements of subsection (b) of section 26-31 may be issued an annual license to firearms hunt or to fish or combination license to fish and firearms hunt or a license to trap without fee. The issuing agency shall indicate on a combination license the specific purpose for which such license is issued. The town clerk shall retain a recording fee of one dollar for each license issued by such clerk.

(b) Any nonresident residing in one of the New England states or the state of New York may procure a license to hunt or to fish or to hunt and fish for the same fee or fees as a resident of this state if such nonresident is a resident of a state the laws of which allow the same privilege to residents of this state.

(c) The fee for a group fishing license, as described in subsection (h) of section 26-30, shall be one hundred twenty-five dollars.

(d) (1) The fee charged for any firearms hunting, archery hunting, trapping or sport fishing license that is issued to any Connecticut resident who is sixteen or seventeen years of age shall be equal to fifty per cent of the fee provided for such license in subsection (a) of this section, rounded to the next highest dollar.

(2) The fee charged pursuant to section 26-27b, as amended by this act, 26-48a, as amended by this act, 26-86a or 26-86c for any firearms hunting, archery hunting, trapping or sport fishing permit, tag or stamp that is issued to any Connecticut resident who is [sixteen or seventeen] less than eighteen years of age shall be equal to fifty per cent of the fee provided for such permit, tag or stamp in said sections, rounded to the next highest dollar.

(e) In addition to the calendar day designated pursuant to subsection (f) of section 26-27, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may designate two additional days in each calendar year on which a one-day license for sport fishing may be issued free of charge. The commissioner may make such one-day license available to all members of the public or to all members of an age group designated by said commissioner.

(f) From time to time and for the purpose of increasing participation, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, may reduce, but not completely waive, the fee or cost for any license, permit, tag or stamp, or combination thereof, as provided for in this section, section 26-27b, as amended by this act, 26-48a, as amended by this act, 26-86a or 26-86c. Any such reduction shall: (1) Be for a portion of a calendar year, (2) remain in effect only during the calendar year in which such reduction is made, and (3) be made only if such reduction is provided to all members of the public, to all members of a certain age group, or to individuals who, in such calendar year, successfully complete a course of instruction in fishing techniques, as provided for in section 26-31a or a conservation education course of instruction, as provided for in subsection (a) of section 26-31.

Sec. 3. Section 26-27b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) [On or after July 1, 1993, no] No person sixteen years of age or older may hunt [waterfowl] migratory game birds or take [waterfowl] migratory game birds in the state without first procuring a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and having such stamp in his or her possession and no person may hunt a resident game bird or take a resident game bird without first procuring a Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp. [The] Each such stamp shall not be transferable and shall be issued annually.

(b) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall provide for the design, production and procurement of the mandatory Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and the mandatory Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and shall, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, provide for the issuance of [the] each stamp. Stamps shall be sold at a price determined by the commissioner, provided the price of a mandatory [stamp] Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp shall not exceed [thirteen] seventeen dollars and the price of a mandatory Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp shall not exceed twenty-eight dollars. The commissioner shall establish an additional voluntary migratory bird and resident game bird conservation donation of not less than two dollars that shall be deposited in the migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account established under section 26-27c, as amended by this act. Any agent issuing such stamps may retain a fee established by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection pursuant to section 26-3c for each stamp sold and shall remit the balance to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Sec. 4. Section 26-27c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may provide for the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and the Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp to be reproduced and marketed in the form of prints and other related artwork. Funds generated from such marketing and the sale of such stamps pursuant to section 26-27b, as amended by this act, shall be deposited in a separate account maintained by the Treasurer and known as the migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account. Within said account, there shall be a subaccount for the voluntary migratory bird and resident game bird conservation donation collected pursuant to section 26-27b, as amended by this act. The migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account shall be a separate, nonlapsing account of the General Fund. All funds credited to the migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account and subaccount shall only be used for: (1) The development, management, preservation, conservation, acquisition, purchase and maintenance of [waterfowl] migratory and resident game birds, migratory and resident game bird habitat and wetlands and purchase or acquisition of recreational rights or interests relating to migratory and resident game birds; and (2) the design, production, promotion and procurement and sale of the prints and related artwork.

Sec. 5. Section 26-27d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Citizens' Advisory Board for the Connecticut Migratory Bird and Resident Game Bird Conservation [Stamp] Stamps program. The board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. The members of the board shall be individuals representing organizations having a record of activity in migratory or resident game bird or [wetland] habitat conservation or who have an expertise or recognized knowledge in an area pertinent and valuable to the program. The board shall elect a chairman from among its membership on or before July 1, 1992. The chairman shall be unaffiliated with any administrative agency of the state.

(b) The board shall advise the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection on the design, production and procurement of the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and the Connecticut Resident Game Bird Conservation Stamp and the expenditure of funds generated from the sale of such stamps and associated art products pursuant to sections 26-27b, as amended by this act, and 26-27c, as amended by this act.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2016) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish a three day out-of-state bird hunting license that may be used to hunt migratory waterfowl upland game birds. The fee for such license shall be thirty-five dollars and shall be in addition to any other permit or stamp requirement. All funds collected from such fee shall be deposited into the migratory and resident game bird conservation account established pursuant to section 26-27c of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2016

26-48a

Sec. 2

July 1, 2016

26-28

Sec. 3

July 1, 2016

26-27b

Sec. 4

July 1, 2016

26-27c

Sec. 5

July 1, 2016

26-27d

Sec. 6

July 1, 2016

New section

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

GF - Revenue Gain

At least 100,000

At least 100,000

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill allows the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to establish regulations for the sale of trout stamps at a fee of up to $10. It is anticipated that if regulations are adopted, the fee would be set at $5. This would result in a revenue gain anticipated to be at least $100,000.

The bill expands the type of birds that can be hunted with a migratory bird stamp and increases, from $13 to $17, the maximum fee DEEP can charge for the stamp. Assuming the same number of stamps sold as last year, this would result in a revenue gain of $13,128. In 2015, there were 3,282 migratory bird stamps sold.

Additionally, the bill expands a voluntary $2 donation program for migratory game bird conservation. To the extent donations increase, there may be a revenue gain to the subaccount of the migratory bird conservation account, which is a separate, non-lapsing account of the general fund.

Additionally, the bill decreases the fee by 50% (rounded to the next highest dollar) for any hunting, trapping, or fishing permit, tag, or stamp, for a child under age 16. In 2015, there were 1,654 hunting permits, stamps, and tags issued to youth hunters generating $29,800. Assuming the same number of permits, stamps, and tags sold as last year, this provision would result in a revenue loss of $14,900 annually.

Also, the bill establishes a separate, non-lapsing pheasant stocking account for the pheasant stocking program. This does not result in a fiscal impact, as the bill does not appropriate funding for the account.

Lastly, the bill requires DEEP to adopt various hunting regulations related to these new provisions, which can be done with existing staff expertise. This does not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact described above depends on the number of stamps/licenses sold and the amount of donations received.

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 139

AN ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO ESTABLISH A TROUT STAMP AND A RESIDENT GAME BIRD CONSERVATION STAMP, AMENDING CERTAIN HUNTING AND FISHING FEES FOR RESIDENTS LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND ERECTING A PHEASANT STOCKING ACCOUNT AND PROGRAM.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes various changes to the laws governing fishing and hunting. Among its provisions, the bill:

Additionally, the bill decreases the fee charged for any hunting, trapping, or fishing permit, tag, or stamp by 50%, rounded to the next higher dollar, for a child under age 16. Existing law already reduces the fee by 50% for children age sixteen or seventeen.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

1 — PHEASANT STOCKING ACCOUNT

The bill establishes a pheasant stocking account as a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund. The funds must be used (presumably by DEEP) to conduct a pheasant stocking program, including purchasing and stocking pheasants, which must be done within the available resources of the account. (In practice, DEEP already conducts a pheasant stocking program.)

By law, the DEEP commissioner may establish by regulation a pheasant permit, tag, or stamp, for which he may charge up to $28. DEEP already makes pheasant stamps available. Under the bill, pheasant stamp proceeds and any voluntary donations made to the program must be deposited to the pheasant stocking account.

1 & 3-5 — MIGRATORY AND RESIDENT GAME BIRD STAMPS

1 & 3 — Migratory Game Birds

Under current law, anyone age 16 or older wishing to hunt or take waterfowl in Connecticut must obtain a hunting license and a Connecticut migratory bird conservation stamp. Waterfowl, a subset of migratory game birds, generally includes ducks and geese.

The bill expands the game birds that hunters with a migratory bird conservation stamp may hunt to include all migratory game birds. Migratory game birds generally include birds that spend the summer in northern latitudes and the winter in southern latitudes. These include waterfowl, certain webless waterbirds (e.g., rails and coots), and certain webless upland birds (e.g., woodcocks and snipes).

The bill increases, from $13 to $17, the maximum fee DEEP may charge for a migratory bird conservation stamp.

1 & 3 — Resident Game Birds

The bill requires anyone wishing to hunt or take resident game birds to obtain a Connecticut resident game bird conservation stamp, in addition to a hunting license already required by law. The bill:

Resident game birds, those that stay in the area year-round, generally include an array of commonly hunted birds, including crows, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, prairie chickens, partridges, and quail.

3 — Voluntary Donations

Under current law, the DEEP commissioner must establish a program through which people may voluntarily donate $2 or more for the conservation of migratory game birds. Donations must be deposited to a subaccount in the state's migratory bird conservation account. The bill requires the commissioner to expand the program to accept voluntary donations of $2 or more for the conservation of resident game birds. It renames the account the migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account. Any voluntary donations received must be deposited in the subaccount.

4 — Migratory Bird and Resident Game Bird Conservation Account

The bill expands the funds that DEEP must deposit into the renamed account, which the treasurer must maintain as a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund. Currently, DEEP must deposit fees received from the sale of migratory game bird stamps and any related artwork. The bill instead requires the account to contain fees received for the sale of migratory game bird stamps, resident game bird stamps, and any artwork related to both stamps, as well as voluntary donations described above and license fees collected from the new out-of-state bird hunting license (see 6 below).

The bill expands the purposes for which the funds in the account and subaccount may be used. Current law requires the funds to be used for (1) developing, managing, preserving, conserving, acquiring, purchasing, and maintaining waterfowl habitat and wetlands and (2) purchasing or acquiring recreational rights or interests related to migratory birds. Under the bill, funds must instead be used for (1) developing, managing, preserving, conserving, acquiring, purchasing, and maintaining migratory and resident game birds, such game birds' habitats, and wetlands and (2) purchasing or acquiring recreational rights or interests related to migratory and resident game birds. By law, and under the bill, the account funds may also be used for designing, producing, promoting, procuring, and selling artwork related to the stamps.

5 — Citizen's Advisory Board

The bill expands the purposes of the citizen's advisory board that, by law, advises the DEEP commissioner on the design, production, and procurement of the migratory bird conservation stamp and the use of funds in the conservation account. Under the bill, the board must also advise him on the design, production, and procurement of the resident game bird conservation stamp.

Current law requires the seven-member advisory board, which the DEEP commissioner appoints, to include people active in migratory bird or wetland habitat conservation. Under the bill, the board must instead include people active in migratory or resident game bird or habitat conservation. By law, they may, in lieu of such activity, have expertise or knowledge that is pertinent and valuable to the program.

6 — OUT-OF-STATE BIRD HUNTING LICENSE

The bill requires the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations to establish a three-day bird hunting license for out-of-state people to hunt “migratory waterfowl upland game birds” in Connecticut. (It is unclear what game birds they can hunt under this license.)

Under the bill, the commissioner must charge $35 for the license, which is in addition to any permit or stamp required by law. All license fees collected must be deposited in the migratory bird and resident game bird conservation account described above.

1 — TROUT STAMP

The bill allows the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations establishing a trout permit, tag, or stamp, which anyone wishing to fish for trout in Connecticut would have to purchase in addition to a general fishing license. Under the bill, DEEP may charge up to $10 for each trout permit, tag, or stamp.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/16/2016)

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