A bill that would raise saltwater license fees for some state residents by 136 percent passed through a second Senate committee on Sunday and now heads to the Senate floor this week for final approval.
Rep. Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette), who authored HB 1082 with the support of Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana, said the bill cleared the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs with no problems.
“It came out of there Sunday with absolutely no issues whatsoever, so it will hit the Senate floor this week,” Bishop said.
The bill would raise saltwater license fees for residents from $5.50 to $13 and create a Saltwater Fish Research and Conservation Fund that could be used by the state for the LA Creel program.
With the legislative session set to end at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 2 at the latest, Bishop said he’s expecting the Senate vote in a matter of days. The bill previously passed the Senate's Natural Resources Committee on May 15.
“We have to pass all our bills by Friday at 6 o’clock (p.m.),” Bishop said. “I would think, being that it came out of Revenue and Fiscal, that it would be heard on the Senate floor either Wednesday or Thursday and then it will head to the governor’s desk.”
The bill includes a 4-year sunset provision which will allow legislators the opportunity to review the program’s progress in four years and determine if the increase will remain, and will not affect residents who turned 60 before June 1, 2000.
Bishop said Sen. Bret Allain (R-Franklin) will handle the bill for him in the Senate.