|Posted:||February 12, 2016 04:50 PM|
|From:||Senator Patrick J. Stefano|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Legislation allowing the Game Commission to set its own license fees|
|I am introducing legislation that amends Section 322, Subchapter B, Chapter 3 of Title 34 (Game) of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Under this legislation, the Game Commission shall have the authority to establish the fees that it charges for hunting and fur-taking licenses.
The legislation will include a five-year sunset provision, which will give the General Assembly the opportunity to review how this legislation is working. One year before the legislation’s sunset date, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee shall begin preparing a report that examines the effectiveness of allowing the Commission to set its own fee schedule. The report will review the amount of revenue received from license fees, and the number of licenses issued, since the legislation became law.
The Game Commission’s fees are currently determined by legislation. The Commission is not supported with revenues from the General Fund. It relies on the fees paid by license holders. This creates an incentive for the Commission to develop and maintain a fee structure that generates sufficient revenues to pay for its activities on behalf of hunters and trappers, while not discouraging participation in those activities.
The Commission is already subject to oversight by the General Assembly. Under Section 328(e) of Title 34, the Game Commission must submit an annual report to the Game and Fisheries committees of both chambers of the General Assembly. This report covers the Commission’s handling of its finances, and the number and nature of citizen complaints against its officers. The eight members of the Commission are appointed by the Governor, and subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Given these safeguards, it’s time to give the Commission the ability to set its fees for various licenses. This flexibility will enable it to better respond to changes in both market conditions and its needs.
Introduced as SB1166