HARRISBURG – In his first meeting as chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) led committee members in the unanimous approval of a bill designed to protect the right of Pennsylvanians to hunt and fish.
House Bill 410, authored by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), proposes an amendment to Section 1 of the state constitution stating that the right to hunt, fish and harvest game shall forever be preserved.
“Sporting activities are an important part of our heritage here in the Commonwealth and across the country,” Causer said. “We want to ensure that heritage – and our rights – are preserved for generations to come.”
Any legislation that seeks to amend the constitution must be passed by the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly, and it must then be approved by Commonwealth voters.
In addition to the constitutional amendment, the committee also approved the following bills:
- House Bill 353, sponsored by Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana), reduces the safety zone distance for trapping within any waterway, watercourse, marsh, pond, or dam from 150 yards to 50 yards for properly licensed furtakers and maintains the 150-yard safety zone for trapping near a school, day care, or playground. The measure will better allow trappers to keep the state’s furbearer population in check.
- House Bill 126, sponsored by Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks), increases the availability of certified hunter education courses in public schools.
Next week, committee members will meet to formally accept the annual reports of the Fish and Boat Commission and the Game Commission. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m., and on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 9:15 a.m. Both sessions will be streamed live at www.RepCauser.com.