Game Commission Supports Reps. For Efforts To Secure Alternative Funding
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe has offered support to legislation sponsored by Rep. Camille "Bud" George (D-Clearfield) and supported by Rep. David Levdansky (D-Allegheny) that would provide an alternative source of funding for the state's wildlife management agency.
Under Rep. George's amendment to House Bill 1489, which he also sponsored, the Game Commission would receive 2 percent of the state privilege tax on every producer who severs natural gas. The amendment was adopted by a vote of 20-6. The bill then was reported out of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which is chaired by Rep. George, by a vote of 15-11, and referred to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.
"Since its creation in 1895, hunters and trappers have footed the bill for the wildlife management achievements of the Game Commission through their license dollars," Roe said. "However, without a license fee increase since 1999, revenues for the agency have been outpaced by the costs of meeting the needs, demands and expectations of both the wildlife and general public we serve.
"Rep. George has long been a leader in the environmental recovery efforts, and we appreciate his leadership on this proposal. We also note that Rep. Levdansky, who worked with Rep. George on this amendment, has been a champion for several sessions of the need to secure alternative sources of funding the Game Commission, rather than continue to ask hunters and trappers to shoulder the entire financial burden that the agency has to manage all wild birds and mammals and their habitats for current and future generations."
Roe encouraged the House Rules Committee to schedule House Bill 1489 for consideration, so that the measure can continue through the legislative process.