HARRISBURG – A bill in the Pennsylvania Senate could increase the amount residents have to pay in hunting license fees.
Senate Bill 192 would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to set its own license fees.
Currently, the commission has to get any license fee increases approved by the Legislature. The commission has not been able to increase the fee since 1998.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission does not get an allocation from the state’s general fund, and it is primarily funded through hunting and furtaker fees.
Due to the lack of a fee increase over the past 19 years, the commission has had to cut costs, including cutting workers and recently announcing the closing of two of the state’s four pheasant farms.
When asked about a specific price, a commission spokesman referenced a recent bill that would have raised the general license fee by $10, from $19 to $29.
“The agency is motivated to keep as many customers as possible,” said Travis Lau, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. “We want to set that license fee at the right price, where we don’t lose customers and we can still get the revenue needed to pay our bills. And it would allow small and incremental changes.”
Senate Bill 192 is identical to a bill in the previous session, which passed the Senate, but wasn’t taken up for a vote in the House before the session ended. The current bill is awaiting a vote in the full Senate.