The bill would amend Part 435 (Hunting and Fishing Licensing) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to allow a disabled veteran to obtain a hunting or fishing license free of charge.
Currently, a disabled veteran is eligible to purchase any senior hunting and/or senior fishing license. Under Part 435, a Michigan resident who is at least 65 years old may obtain a senior restricted fishing license or a senior all-species fishing license for a fee that is discounted 60% from the fee for a resident license. In addition, Part 435 allows a resident who is at least 65 years old to obtain a senior small game license, firearm deer license, bow and arrow deer license, bear hunting license, wild turkey hunting license, or fur harvester's license. The fee for a senior hunting license also is discounted 60% from the regular license fee.
Under the bill, a disabled veteran could obtain any resident hunting or fishing license free of charge, instead of purchasing a senior hunting and/or fishing license.
("Disabled veteran" means either of the following:
-- A resident who has been determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans' benefits at the 100% rate, for a disability other than blindness.
-- A resident rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as individually unemployable.)
The bill would have a small, but negative fiscal impact on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Currently, as noted above, disabled veterans may obtain a 60% discount on the following hunting and fishing licenses:
· Small game license
· Firearm deer license
· Bow and arrow deer license
· Bear hunting license
· Wild turkey hunting license
· Fur harvester's license
· Restricted fishing license
· All-species fishing license
The bill would allow disabled veterans to obtain those licenses, as well any other type of hunting or fishing license under Part 435, for free. This would result in the loss of an unknown but likely small amount of license fee revenue to the Game and Fish Protection Fund and its various subfunds. In fiscal year 2010-11, the Game and Fish Protection Fund received approximately $44.0 million from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. Revenue from the Game and Fish Protection Fund is used for Department of Natural Resources administration and wildlife programs, and as State match for Federal revenue.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.