Athol Daily News – Gobi amendment would reimburse MassWildlife for lost funds
Published: 05/30/2021 9:19:13 PM
Modified: 05/30/2021 21:19:12
BOSTON – Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), co-chair of the Massachusetts Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and former chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, successfully advocated on Wednesday for the inclusion of an amendment to the state FY22 budget to address lost revenue that the state does not reimburse to the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife. The bipartisan amendment targets the nearly $ 1 million / year the agency loses each year by providing free hunting and fishing licenses to residents over the age of 70 who are currently not reimbursed by the state and ensure that these funds are allocated annually from the General Fund.
In a press release, Gobi had this to say about the passage of the amendment: “Our sportsmen and women play a vital role in conservation and the license fees have made it possible to set land aside, not only for hunting and fishing, but for many types of recreation such as hiking and bird watching. Giving a free license to those over a certain age is the right thing to do, especially now when we want people to enjoy the outdoors. Paying off this lost income is also the right thing to do. ”
The Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife (MassWildlife) provides free fishing and hunting licenses to residents over the age of 70, but is not reimbursed for this loss of income. As a result, the agency is losing about $ 1 million per year, and this loss is expected to increase as the population aged 70 and over continues to grow. At the same time, MassWildlife is reimbursed annually by the state to offset losses associated with discounted fishing and hunting licenses offered to people aged 65 to 69. responsible for overseeing athlete and women’s activities while conserving and restoring critical habitat.
For more information on the amendment or the budget process, contact Senator Gobi’s office by email at [email protected]