Nevada Senate panel rejects license fee proposal

A proposal by the Nevada Wildlife Division to raise hunting and fishing license fees without having to ask state lawmakers was rejected Monday by the Senate Finance Committee.

The panel voted to approve fee increases as part of Gov. Kenny Guinn's plan to balance the wildlife budget and avert a funding shortfall. But the agency will have to continue to return to the Legislature to raise fees in future years.

The agency wanted authority to raise fees on its own in response to inflationary increases. But some hunting-fishing advocates said legislative oversight should be maintained.

SB420, which contains the fee increases, will now go to the full Senate for a vote and then on to the Assembly.

Because the inflation adjustment was set to begin in the second year of the budget in 2004-05, a $180,000 shortfall was created by rejecting the proposal.

The panel voted for further fee increases, primarily in non-resident hunting and fishing licenses, to make up the difference.

Fee increases in the budget include a $6 hike in the resident hunting license, to $29; and a $5 increase in a resident fishing license, to $25. If approved, the higher fees would take effect next year.


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