EXEMPT SENIORS FROM FISHING LICENSE REQUIREMENT
House Bill 6190
Sponsor: Rep. Wayne Kuipers
Committee: Conservation and Outdoor Recreation
Complete to 7-31-02
A SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 6190 AS INTRODUCED 6-13-02
House Bill 6190 would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to allow Michigan's senior citizens to fish without a license and to change the procedure for calculating the legislature's annual appropriation from the general fund to the Game and Fish Protection Fund. Specifically the bill would do the following:
Elimination of senior fishing licenses. Part 435 of NREPA sets forth licensing procedures and requirements for people who wish to hunt or fish in the state. The NREPA currently requires all persons 65 years of age and older who wish to fish the state's waters to obtain fishing licenses and allows Michigan seniors to purchase a "senior restricted fishing license", "senior all-species fishing license", or a senior 24-hour fishing license at discounted rates. The senior restricted and all-species licenses are discounted 60 percent from the fee for a standard restricted and all-species fishing licenses, while the daily fishing license for senior citizens costs $3 compared to $7 for an adult under 65. State residents who are blind or who are permanently and totally disabled and entitled to full veteran benefits for a disability other than blindness are also eligible to purchase senior restricted and all-species (but not 24-hour) fishing licenses at the 60 percent discounted rate.
The bill would eliminate the senior restricted fishing license, senior all-species fishing license, and the 24-hour fishing license for senior citizens and would allow seniors who hold either a Michigan driver's license or state ID card to fish without a license. Selling, lending, or permitting another person to use one's driver's license or state ID card to avoid obtaining a fishing license would be considered a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for 90 days and a fine of $25-$250. State residents who are blind or who are permanently and totally disabled and entitled to full veteran benefits for a disability other than blindness would still be eligible to purchase restricted and all-species fishing licenses at a 60 percent discount from the standard fees.
Annual appropriation to Game and Fish Protection Fund. Currently, the NREPA requires the DNR to determine annually the difference between what it actually collects for hunting and fishing licenses and what it would collect if seniors and people eligible to buy senior licenses, as identified above, were required to pay full price for their licenses. (The NREPA requires hunters to obtain one of several licenses from the state, depending on the type of game they are hunting, but allows seniors to obtain senior licenses at a 60 percent discount from the standard rates.) Each year, the legislature must appropriate from the general fund to the Game and Fish Protection Fund an amount equal to the difference between what the DNR actually collects for
these licenses and what it would collect if people eligible for discounts were required to pay full price. The bill would revise the procedure for determining the amount of the appropriation beginning with the 2003-2004 fiscal year. The appropriation would be calculated as follows: First, before June 1 of each year beginning in 2004, DNR would have to determine the total amount in fees collected for senior hunting licenses and discounted fishing licenses issued to eligible persons (i.e., blind persons and permanently and totally disabled veterans) during the preceding license year. The department would then have to determine the difference between what seniors and persons entitled to discounts actually paid for licenses and what they would have paid if they had had to pay full price. Second, DNR would have to calculate the difference between the total fees collected during the license year ending in 2003 for senior fishing licenses and the total fees that would have been collected if seniors and other eligible persons had been required to purchase full-price fishing licenses that year. The state treasurer would have to adjust this 2003 figure to reflect the cumulative annual percentage change in the Detroit consumer price index as of the preceding calendar year. Each year, the legislature would have to appropriate from the general fund to the Game and Fish Protection Fund an amount equal to the sum of the two amounts above-i.e., (1) the difference for that year between the amount that seniors and other discount-eligible persons actually paid for hunting and fishing licenses and what they would otherwise have had to pay and (2) the adjusted 2003 difference between the amount that seniors and other eligible persons actually paid for their fishing licenses and the amount that they would otherwise have had to pay.
MCL 324.4305 et al.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.