Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5858

Title:

AN ACT AUTHORIZING LIFETIME HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES.

Vote Date:

3/10/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/6/2017

File No.:

252

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Rep. Robert C. Sampson, 80th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

The annual requirement for hunting and fishing licenses is expensive and burdensome to the sportsmen of Connecticut. Simplifying the convenience of purchasing licensure encourages more sportsmen to experience Connecticut's forests and waterways and generates revenue and interest for the state.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE – LCO No. 5210

Substitute language removes the provision of the original bill requiring that the commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) provide for the placement of an endorsement on a motor vehicle operator's license indicating the issuance of a lifetime hunting license. Testimony provided by DEEP requested the aforementioned change.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Robert Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP): Supports the bill, but requests for the “opportunity to evaluate and develop a more complete proposal.” We support the concept and intent of this proposal, which would authorize DEEP to establish and issue lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, permits and stamps and make it easier and more convenient for anglers and hunters to invest in the long-term conservation and management of Connecticut's Natural Resources. This bill speaks to the concept of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, but lacks some of the important detail necessary for successful implementation. DEEP requests the committee strike the language in lines 5-8 regarding motor vehicles licenses.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Bruce Conroy, Nutmeg State Council of Sportsmen: Shared brief testimony in favor of the bill.

Michael Salter, Granby, CT: The opportunity offered through this bill is available in other New England states. It is time that Connecticut offer Connecticut's sportsmen the same opportunity.

Andrew W. Minikowski, Esq., Legal Fellow, Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE): This bill would encourage citizens of the state to take up outdoor pursuits, thereby spending more time communing with nature in Connecticut's state forests and parks. CFE is concerned, however, that a lifetime license would lead to an overall decrease in DEEP revenue generated by annual licensing fees. CFE suggests that the bill should be modified to take a term-based approach, whereby “a lifetime license would remain in the effect as long as a licensee's driver's license, and that upon renewal of the driver's license, the licensee would have the opportunity to simultaneously renew a lifetime fishing or hunting license upon payment of a renewal fee.”

Robert Sampson, Representative, CT House of Representatives: This bill would support responsible sportsmen by ensuring they are not discouraged from enjoying gaming in our state by expensive fees and burdensome regulations. The creation of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses is a common sense measure. By adopting a system of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, as over thirty-two other States have done, Connecticut's great parks, lakes, and rivers could attract more avid sportsmen. Understanding the concerns the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection may have about lifetime licensure; these licenses would be sold at a higher price than their one-time counterparts.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

David Brensilver Waterford, Connecticut: Does not support the establishment of lifetime hunting licenses because it will simply make it easier for people to kill.

Reported by: Steve Smith / Ussawin R. Bumpen

Date: 3/29/18