Minnesota TU members, anglers & conservationists:
As you are undoubtedly aware, efforts to get the MN Legislature to approve long overdue increases in fishing license fees have stalled in both House and Senate. We urgently need you, your friends, fishing buddies, neighbors, etc., to contact your legislators, as well as the leadership of both bodies.
On Tuesday April 17 Sen. Ingebrigtsen attempted to attach fishing & hunting license fee increases to the Senate Game & Fish bill, SF 2171. The amendment failed and the Senate bill was set aside or “laid on the table”.
The House bill containing the license fee increases, HF 2951, languishes in the House, and the House Environment committee has not been permitted to vote on or move the bill. If they choose to, the House leadership can easily move this bill through committee and allow it to receive a vote on the House floor.
Your message to House members and leaders is simple: Give the bill containing fishing license fee increases a hearing and vote on the House floor.
Take Action Now – contact you legislators:
You can quickly locate and contact your legislators by using the State’s legislative website: http://www.leg.state.mn.us You can also call the MN Senate information line at: 651-296-0504 or 1- 888-234-1112. You can call the House switchboard at: 651-296-2146, or 1-800-657-3550
Here is the direct link for looking up your legislators: http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/?address=
Just click on their name and you will be taken to their individual web page. Calls and e mails to the leadership of House and Senate would also be helpful.
To contact Senate Majority Leader Sen. David Senjem:
Call: 651-296-3903 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact House Speaker Kurt Zellars:
Call: 651-296-5502 E mail: email@example.com
To contact House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Dean:
Call: 651-296-9194 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic message to the House leadership:
Give the bill containing fishing license fee increases a hearing and vote on the House floor.
A basic message to all legislators:
I am an angler and voter. I believe that fisheries and my fishing will suffer unless more revenue is raised for fisheries management activities through voluntary user fees (fishing license fees) which I will gladly pay. I support the license fee increases proposed by the DNR and want you to vote to for fee increases this year.
Capitol Rally for Fee increases on Monday April 23
On Monday April 23 there will be a rally at the MN Capitol rotunda at 10:30 a.m. If you can make it to St. Paul to show your support, great. If you cannot bend your schedule, you can have an impact by taking just a couple minutes to call and e mail your legislators and key leaders of the House and Senate.
Links to the bills and more information
Here is a link to HF 2951:
The Senate Environment Committee’s version rests in SF 2490. Here is the link:
The chart comparing the three versions can be viewed by clicking on the link in the March 17 blog entry on the MNTU website: www.mntu.org
There is a wealth of good information on the DNR’s license initiative on its website. Don’t forget to explore the impacts to your area from dwindling purchasing power of license dollars. Here is the direct link:
Press Conference Held in Support of fee increases:
In mid-March Minnesota Trout Unlimited spoke in support of increasing fishing license fees at a press conference organized by our friends at the Minnesota Conservation Federation. Representatives from Minnesota Environmental Partnership and the Fish & Wildlife Legislative Alliance joined us. MNTU stressed that properly managing fisheries and maintaining their quality requires personnel to gather and analyze data. We also pointed out the key roles which DNR field staff play in identifying, and helping design and implement quality habitat projects. We emphasized that more revenue is needed or our fisheries and fishing will suffer. The ad hoc coalition also distributed a letter to legislative leaders calling for their support for these fee increases. Thanks to those TU chapters who were able to respond on very short notice and join this letter.
Click here to view the letter.
Senate Committee Produces and Advances Bill:
The Senate Environment Committee heard and passed out of committee a version of the license fee increase bill. That bill is now SF 2490 and it can be found at:
On March 22 the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee discussed the DNR/Governor’s proposal from 2011, which Rep Hanson had previously introduced, but which had not had a hearing. The DNR outlined the proposal and House committee members discussed it. On March 26 Rep. Hackbarth introduced a slightly different House version. However, since that time the House leadership has prevented the bill from moving forward.
Thanks for helping.
John P. Lenczewski
Minnesota Trout Unlimited