LDWF’s license fee increase bill passes out of committee

Bill is scheduled to be debated on House floor on April 5

A bill that would streamline available Louisiana hunting and fishing licenses — and raise an estimated $10 million for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries — moved out of committee yesterday and is headed to the full House of Representatives for further debate.

Nola.com reported that by a 12-3 vote, the Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday forwarded HB 687, which would reduce the 117 current available licenses down to just 39. It is being sponsored by Houma Republican Rep. Jerome Zeringue.

But along with the reduction in licenses offered, some hunters and fishermen will pay more. Zeringue said the measure will “reduce the redundancy that exists in licensing,” and also ensure the agency has funding to continue its work, the report stated.

The department doesn’t receive any general state revenue, but uses money from licenses, fees, permits and oil and gas to pay its expenses, with the low price of oil impacting its income, according to the report.

The last license fee increase occurred in 2000. The bill is scheduled to be discussed on the House floor on April 5.

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