Monday, March 25, 2019

NEW DATE: Bill Authorizing Fish & Boat Commission To Set Own Fees To Be Considered By House Committee On March 26

The House Game and Fisheries Committee is scheduled to meet on March 26 to consider House Bill 808 (Mehaffie-R-Dauphin) authorizing the Fish and Boat Commission to set its own fees for 3 years (sponsor summary).
Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission told the Committee on February 27 securing the long-term financial future of the agency was his most pressing priority.
“While our revenue has remained stagnant, costs continue to rise. Fish Fund expenditures have increased by 27 percent or $8.2 million since 2005, while Boat Fund expenditures have risen by 30 percent, or $3.3 million,” Schaeffer said. “Inflation, increased personnel costs, and aging infrastructure have all placed considerable pressure on the Commission’s long-term financial picture in the absence of new or increased revenue.
“The Commission has taken aggressive steps to cut costs and secure new revenue where possible. Since 2005, we have sold non-performing assets like real property, vehicles, and other equipment; marketed oil, gas, water access, and timber resources; and secured revenues through the Act 13 Impact Fee,” Schaeffer explained.  “We are also receiving the full amount of taxes paid on motorboat fuel thanks to the Act 89 Transportation Bill.
“On the expenditure side, we have reduced full-time and seasonal staff positions. The Commission has also deferred investments in $18 million of prioritized equipment, vehicles, and maintenance needs for its hatcheries, public facilities, and other operations.”
Last October the 4 Chairs of the Senate and House Game and Fisheries Committees promised to seek additional funding for the Commission in 2019.
The meeting will be held in Room 205 of the Ryan Building starting at 9:30.  Click Here to watch the meeting online.
Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York) serves as Majority Chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-705-7167 or send email to:  Rep. William Kortz (D-Allegheny) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-780-4783 or send email to:
Related Story:
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: Call Your House Member To Support bill To Allow Fish & Boat Commission To Adopt Its Own Fees

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