Tracking The Capitols
Tracking the Capitols is a source of legislation currently being tracked by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation state policy team to keep you informed of the most pertinent and timely state legislation affecting hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping and other conservation issues. Inclusion in Tracking the Capitols does not necessarily constitute support or opposition to legislation by CSF and/or the CSF States Program. The bills noted in this email represent only a fraction of the legislation that CSF's States Program is monitoring on a day-to-day basis.

Please visit our website for day-to-day updates by CSF's State Program Team on important sportsmen's legislation. To view past bills, please visit the Tracking the Capitols Archive under the Media Room tab on the CSF website.

 

Note: Bill sponsors who are members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses are noted in bold.
 
NASC

Working with  
State Legislators

Updates for the week of

May 11, 2015
NORTHEASTERN STATES

 

Maine H 265

Introduced: 02/11/2015

Sponsor: Representative Stephen Wood, Co-Chair, Maine Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus 

Issue Brief: Recruitment; Bear Hunting 

Summary: Requires the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish by rule a youth bear hunting day on the Saturday prior to the opening of bear hunting season.

Status: Eligible for Governor's desk on May 12  

 

Maine H 394

Introduced: 02/25/2015

Sponsor: Representative Stephen Wood, Co-Chair, Maine Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus 

Issue Brief: General 

Summary: Authorizes the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to postpone or cancel an open hunting season if, based on principles of sound scientific wildlife management, it is necessary for wildlife conservation purposes.

Status: Signed by Governor (Public Law No. 57) on May 8

 

Maine H 479

Introduced: 03/04/2015

Sponsor: Representative Karl Ward, Member, Maine Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus 

Issue Brief: Right to Hunt and Fish 

Summary: (Resolution) Proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to provide that the citizens of Maine have the personal right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, subject to laws and rules that promote wildlife conservation and preserve the future of hunting and fishing, and to provide that public hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife are a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

Status: Work Session held on May 12  

 

Maine H 506

Introduced: 03/04/2015

Sponsor: Representative Stephen Wood, Co-Chair, Maine Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus 

Issue Brief: Right to Hunt and Fish 

Summary: (Resolution) Proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to provide that the right of the people of this State to hunt, fish and harvest game and fish, including by the use of traditional methods, may not be infringed, subject to reasonable laws and rules to promote wildlife conservation and management, to maintain natural resources in trust for public use and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. It also provides that public hunting and fishing are a preferred means of managing and controlling wild

Status: Work Session held on May 12  

 

Maryland H 14

Introduced: 01/14/2015

Sponsor: Representative Anthony O'Donnell, Member, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus  

Issue Brief: Seniors, Veterans, and Active Duty Military Hunting and Angling Privileges    

Summary: Creates an exemption for a person who is a retired former member of the Armed Forces of the United States from the requirement to obtain a hunting license; provides that the exemption applies only to hunting on active farmland that is under ownership of the person or family; requires a person who hunts under the exemption to possess a retired military identification card, written permission to hunt during a specified time period from the property owner, and any required hunting stamps.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 216) on May 12         

 

Maryland H 554

Introduced: 02/11/2015

Sponsor: Representative Wendell Beitzel, Co-Chair, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus; Member, National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses Executive Council

Issue Brief: General License 

Summary: Relates to nonresident senior and junior hunting licenses; establishes a nonresident senior hunting license; authorizes a nonresident to purchase the license beginning in the calendar year in which the nonresident attains a certain age; establishes a fee; alters the fee for a nonresident junior hunting license; requires the Department of Natural Resources to submit a report to the Governor and the General Assembly describing the number of licenses issued and an estimate of economic benefits.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 260) on May 12         

 

Maryland S 68

Introduced: 01/23/2015

Sponsor: Senator Joan Carter Conway

Issue Brief: Deer Management

Summary: Repeals the requirement that the Department of Natural Resources establish a program in Charles County and St. Marys County to train rifle shooters to hunt deer for the purpose of controlling the deer population; repeals the requirement that the Department give specified applicants priority to participate in the program; repeals provisions of law that authorize the Department to terminate the program under certain circumstances; repeals a requirement that the Department adopt certain regulations.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 147) on May 12         

 

Maryland S 88

Introduced: 01/26/2015

Sponsor: Senator John Astle, Co-Chair, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus; Past President, National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses Executive Council

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Alters the prohibition against a person hunting specified game birds by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area to require that the person know or reasonably should know that the area is a baited area before a violation occurs.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 148) on May 12         

 

Maryland S 666

Introduced: 02/06/2015

Sponsor: Senator Gail Bates

Issue Brief: General License

Summary: Alters the expiration date for and, under specified circumstances, the duration of specified recreational fishing licenses; requires the Department of Natural Resources to establish by regulation a term for a specified recreational fishing license; requires the Department to proportionally prorate the annual license fees for specified recreational fishing licenses; repeals a specified obsolete provision of law; relates to the expiration date for and duration of recreational fishing licenses.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 376) on May 12         

 

New Hampshire S 183

Introduced: 01/08/2015

Sponsor: Senator David Watters, Member, New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General License    

Summary: Allows the fish and game department to offer lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for newborns.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 2015-36) on May 7

 

New Hampshire S 222

Introduced: 01/08/2015

Sponsor: Senator David Watters, Member, New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Drones    

Summary: Extends the prohibition on harassment of persons hunting, fishing, or trapping and adds the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to the activities prohibited; relates to a request from the fish and game department.

Status: Signed by Governor (Chapter No. 2015-38) on May 7

 

Rhode Island H 5205

Introduced: 01/21/2015

Sponsor: Representative Deborah Fellela

Issue Brief: Outdoor Sporting Goods Tax Holiday     

Summary: Would exempt gun safes from sales and use taxes. This act would take effect upon passage.

Status: In House Committee on Finance: Committee recommends measure to be held for further study on May 12

 

Vermont S 138

Introduced: 03/16/2015

Sponsor: Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee   

Issue Brief: Sound Suppressors  

Summary: Relates to promoting economic development.

Status: Senate refused to concur in House amendments; to Conference Committee on May 12           

 

SOUTHEASTERN STATES


Alabama S 316

Introduced: 03/31/2015

Sponsor: Senator Tom Whatley   

Issue Brief: General; General License

Summary: Raises the fee for the waterfowl stamp to ten dollars; authorizes periodic adjustment of the stamp fee by the department based on the Consumer Price Index in the same manner as other hunting and fishing licenses.

Status: From Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry: Reported favorably on May 7      

 

North Carolina H 65

Introduced: 02/11/2015

Sponsor: Representative Jeffrey Elmore    

Issue Brief: Trapping 

Summary: Establishes a season for trapping foxes in Wilkes county, Cherokee county, and New Hanover County; establishes that there is an open season for taking foxes by trapping during the trapping season set by the Wildlife Resources Commission each year, with no tagging requirements prior to or after sale; relates to no bag limit; establishes that the Commission shall provide for the sale of foxes taken lawfully.

Status: In House: Received to concur in Senate committee substitute on May 12          

 

South Carolina H 3118

Introduced: 01/13/2015

Sponsor: Representative Mike Pitts, Member, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus; Past President, National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses Executive Council

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to promulgate regulations governing wildlife management areas and heritage trust lands to establish seasons, dates, areas, bag limits, and other restrictions for hunting and taking wild turkey; establishes male wild turkey hunting season; declares youth turkey hunting day; provides a wild turkey bag limit; provides that wild turkey transportation tags must be validated before a turkey is removed from the point of kill.

Status: Signed by Governor on May 7   

 

South Carolina H 3393

Introduced: 01/22/2015

Sponsor: Representative Phillip Lowe, Co-Chair, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General; General License

Summary: Provides that a person shall obtain a federal migratory hunting and conservation stamp in addition to obtaining required state hunting licenses and permits; provides that the Department of Natural Resources may contract with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to make the federal migratory hunting and conservation stamp available through the license sales system of the department; provides for the endorsement of the stamp on state hunting licenses by the department.

Status: Signed by Governor on May 7         

 

South Carolina S 57

Introduced: 01/13/2015

Sponsor: Senator Chip Campsen, Member, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Anti; General

Summary: Provides the Department of Natural Resources the authority to promulgate regulations governing certain areas to establish seasons, dates, areas, bag limits, and other restrictions for hunting and taking wild turkey; relates to the Department's regulation of the hunting of wild turkeys; revises the season for the hunting and taking of male wild turkeys; establishes a youth turkey hunting day; establishes bag limits for the taking of male wild turkeys; revises the penalties for violations.

Status: Recommitted to Senate Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry on May 12

      

Tennessee H 1104

Introduced: 02/12/2015

Sponsor: Representative Matthew Hill

Issue Brief: Off Highway Vehicles 

Summary: Relates to Recreational Vehicles; creates an off-highway vehicle advisory committee to study the provision of safety training to off-highway vehicle operators, acquisition of potential private or public land as off-highway recreation areas, and funding sources for such training and acquisitions; requires the committee to report by January 1, 2016.

Status: To Governor on May 8          

 

Tennessee S 1237

Introduced: 02/12/2015

Sponsor: Senator Mike Bell, Co-Chair, Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting License  

Summary: Relates to Game and Fish Laws; increases, from one to three, the number of consecutive years that a person may purchase annual permits to exempt themselves from hunter education requirements.

Status: Signed by Governor on May 8          

 

 

UPPER MIDWESTERN STATES


Michigan S 244

Introduced: 03/26/2015

Sponsor: Senator Phil Pavlov, Member, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Enforcement

Summary: Increases restitution for the illegal killing or possessing of certain game.

Status: In Senate: To third reading on May 12   

 

Michigan S 245

Introduced: 03/26/2015

Sponsor: Senator Dale Zorn, Member, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Enforcement

Summary: Increases penalties for illegally taking or possessing certain game.

Status: In Senate. Read second time and committee substitute updated. To third reading on May 12   

 

Minnesota S 698

Introduced: 02/06/2015

Sponsor: Senator Kari Dziedzic

Issue Brief: Budget Bills; Lead Ban

Summary: Relates to natural resources; appropriates money from environment and natural resources trust fund; modifies provisions for Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources; establishes that the commission shall recommend an annual or biennial legislative bill for appropriations from the environment and natural resources trust fund and shall adopt a strategic plan; ensures that the expenditures and outcomes for appropriations funded by the environment and natural resources trust fund are met.

Status: In House: Second reading on May 12    

 

Wisconsin AJR 28

Introduced: 04/22/2015

Sponsor: Representative Joel Kleefisch, Co-Chair, Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Conservation Funding  

Summary: Commemorates the economic impacts of sportsmen and sportswomen in Wisconsin.

Status: From Assembly Committee on Rules: Placed on calendar on May 7
 

Wisconsin S 147

Introduced: 05/05/2015

Sponsor: Senator Frank Lasee, Member, Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General   

Summary: Relates to unattended decoys left in water.

Status: To Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry on May 5

 

Wisconsin S 150

Introduced: 05/08/2015

Sponsor: Senator Terry Moulton, Co-Chair, Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General License; Enforcement  

Summary: Relates to restrictions on hunting antlerless deer by members of a group hunting party.

Status: To Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry on May 8 

 


LOWER MIDWESTERN STATES

 

Louisiana H 167

Introduced: 04/13/2015

Sponsor: Representative Richard Burford

Issue Brief: Invasive Species

Summary: Allows year-round night hunting of hogs on private property.

Status: Order engrossed on May 11

 

Louisiana H 306

Introduced: 04/13/2015

Sponsor: Representative Katrina Jackson  

Issue Brief: General License  

Summary: Provides the commission shall develop a lifetime license for taking feral hogs.

Status: Order engrossed on May 11

 

Louisiana S 133

Introduced: 04/13/2015

Sponsor: Senator Barrow Peacock   

Issue Brief: Enforcement   

Summary: Provides criteria for parish governing authorities to consider when determining a heavily populated area within the unincorporated area of the parish for purposes of prohibiting, restricting, or regulating the shooting of firearms.

Status: To House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment on May 7  

 

Texas H 849

Introduced: 01/21/2015

Sponsor: Representative Chris Paddie, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Outdoor Sporting Goods Tax Holiday

Summary: Relates to an exemption from the sales tax for firearms and hunting supplies for a limited period.

Status: Passed Senate; to House on May 12

 

Texas H 1040

Introduced: 01/29/2015

Sponsor: Representative Chris Paddie, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Fishing Tournaments

Summary: Relates to the liability of certain sports officials and organizations.

Status: Committee reported printed and distributed on May 12  

 

Texas H 1979

Introduced: 02/26/2015

Sponsor: Representative Dade Phelan, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: Fishing Tournaments

Summary: Relates to a bag limit exemption for certain participants in certain fishing tournaments in Chambers, Jefferson, Galveston, Hardin, Newton, and Orange Counties.

Status: Placed on General State Calendar (05/14/2015) on May 13

 

Texas H 3057

Introduced: 03/11/2015

Sponsor: Representative Andrew Murr, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Relates to the creation of a pilot program for the purpose of controlling certain predatory animals.

Status: Passed House; to Senate on May 8   

 


PACIFIC-NORTHWESTERN STATES


Nevada A 78

Introduced: 02/02/2015

Sponsor: Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee

Issue Brief: General  

Summary: Make various other changes relating to wildlife; revises the process by which the Board of Wildlife Commissioners establishes certain policies and adopts certain regulations; revises provisions governing programs for the management and control of predatory wildlife; revises certain provisions governing county advisory boards to manage wildlife; revises the membership of the State Predatory Animal and Rodent Committee.

Status: Conference Committee hearing scheduled for May 14       

 

Nevada AJR 2

Introduced: 02/02/2015

Sponsor: Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee

Issue Brief: General  

Summary: Urges the United States Congress and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take certain actions to reduce the impact of common ravens on the greater sage grouse population in this State.

Status: Passed Senate on May 8

 

Nevada S 417

Introduced: 03/19/2015

Sponsor: Senate Natural Resources Committee

Issue Brief: General  

Summary: Prohibits the use of telemetry data to hunt or kill game mammals or game birds or other wildlife; provides a penalty; provides that a violation of the provisions which govern wildlife is a misdemeanor; prohibits the use of any information obtained from a radio signal or other transmission received from any transmitting device that is attached to or placed for the purpose of detecting a game mammal, game bird or other wildlife to harass or take any game mammal, game bird or other wildlife.

Status: Signed by Governor on May 6  

 

Oregon H 2534

Introduced: 02/02/2015

Sponsor: Representative Brad Witt, Member, Oregon Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus

Issue Brief: General  

Summary: Directs State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules prohibiting use of drones for certain purposes related to pursuit of wildlife.

Status: Signed by Governor on May 12

 

Oregon S 779

Introduced: 02/26/2015

Sponsor: Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Issue Brief: General License; Seniors; Veterans  

Summary: Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to study expanding application of laws that consider members of uniformed services residents for licensing purposes and present report to interim committees of Legislative Assembly related to environment and natural resources on or before September 15, 2016; sunsets January 2, 2016.

Status: Public Hearing held on May 7

 

Oregon S 913

Introduced: 03/04/2015

Sponsor: Senate Judiciary Committee

Issue Brief: Ivory

Summary: Creates offense of trafficking in animal parts; provides that knowing purchase, sale, offering for sale, possession with intent to sell or importation for purchase or sale in this state of ivory, rhinoceros horn, ivory products or rhinoceros horn products is offense; creates exceptions; makes first offense punishable by a maximum number of days' imprisonment and by maximum fine or twice fair market value of ivory, rhinoceros horn, ivory product or rhinoceros horn product, whichever is greater.

Status: Public Hearing and work session scheduled in House Judiciary Committee on May 20    

 


WESTERN STATES

 

 

California S 345

Introduced: 02/24/2015

Sponsor: Senator Tom Berryhill, Member, California Outdoor Sporting Caucus  

Issue Brief: Angling Access; General License; Recruitment

Summary: Authorizes a charitable organization or nonprofit organization to possess fish taken under a sport fishing license in excess of a possession limit when such organizations were given the fish as donations an can provide documentation to that effect and the entities retain any tag required to be fixed to a fish in a prescribed manner. Authorizes the donor to possess fish under a license in excess of limits if the donor complies with the same requirements. Relates to junior licenses and one-day licenses.

Status: Hearing scheduled for 10:00 am PT on May 18  

 

Colorado H 1304

Introduced: 03/23/2015

Sponsor: Representative Yeulin Willett  

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Concerns a plan to study the available bear management tools year round to address bear-human conflicts.

Status: Session Law Chaptered (Chapter No. 169) on May 11  

 

Colorado S 199

Introduced: 03/03/2015

Sponsor: Senator Jerry Sonnenberg  

Issue Brief: Budget Bills

Summary: Concerns the continuation of the funding for the habitat partnership program in the division of parks and wildlife.

Status: To Governor on May 11

 

Colorado S 226

Introduced: 03/20/2015

Sponsor: Senator Jerry Sonnenberg  

Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting License; Recruitment  

Summary: Concerns the education requirements necessary to qualify for a license to take wildlife; requires a person to obtain a hunter education certificate in order to be issued a license to hunt in Colorado; requires the person to have a specified number of hours in a hunter education course; creates an apprentice program that allows a person who is at least 10 years of age to be issued a temporary certificate without hunter education if he or she is accompanied by a mentor who is at least 18 years of age.

Status: Eligible for Governor's desk on May 12  

 

Montana H 140

Introduced: 01/05/2015

Sponsor: Representative Jeffrey Welborn

Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting License; General; General License; Seniors; Veterans

Summary: Relates to hunting and fishing licenses; requires an additional budget review and report to the legislature; creates a base hunting license; clarifies the price of a class B-12 nonresident antlerless elk B tag license; modifies fishing license fees; eliminates free licenses for certain youth, senior, disabled, and nonresident hunters and anglers and standardizing discounted license prices; authorizes free fishing for all youth under age 12; clarifies certain fees for certain nonresident hunting licenses.

Status: Signed by Governor Steve Bullock, Member, Governor's Sportsmen's Caucus on May 8  

 

Montana S 261

Introduced: 02/03/2015

Sponsor: Senator Brad Hamlett  

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Creates the Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Stewardship act; establishes the Montana sage grouse oversight team; provides duties and rulemaking authority; establishes the Sage Grouse Stewardship account; provides grant criteria; allows for compensatory mitigation; provides for management of conveyed lands; conditions the funding of leases or conservation easements.

Status: Chaptered (Chapter No. 445) on May 7

 

Montana S 309

Introduced: 02/03/2015

Sponsor: Senator Jedediah Hinkle

Issue Brief: Access Private Lands

Summary: Revises the Unlocking State Lands Program to include specific federal land; increases the tax credit for qualified access; revises criteria for program participation.

Status: Chaptered (Chapter No. 392) on May 4

SCISCI is a proud partner of CSF and
sponsors in part TRACKING THE CAPITOLS

Working with Congress, Governors and State Legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping.

 

For more information on the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation go to 

 

 

For additional information on legislation included in this report please contact the appropriate representative: 

 

Southeastern States Manager Bee Frederick, at 334.593.6988, or email bee@sportsmenslink.org

 

Midwestern States Director Chris Horton, at 501.865.1475, or email chris@sportsmenslink.org

 

Northeastern States Director Brent Miller, at 202.543.6850 x 13, or emai brent@sportsmenslink.org

 

Midwestern States Coordinator Kyle Rorah (MI, IN, OH, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD), at 734.477.5040, or email kyle@sportsmenslink.org

 

Western States Director Andy Treharne, at 303.789.7589, or email andy@sportsmenslink.org