Fish bill hits snag

A proposal to raise license fees for hunting, fishing and trapping has run into trouble in the Minnesota Senate.

Republicans and Democrats joined forces to reject a proposed amendment today (Tuesday) by a vote of 27-39. Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, then tabled the entire game and fish bill, and Senate GOP leaders called for a recess to discuss the impasse behind closed doors. During his presentation of the bill, Ingebrigtsen said many outdoors organizations have been calling for higher fees.

“Over the past 11 years, there has not been an increase in the DNR fees,” Ingebrigtsen said. “That’s been the longest standing time at least in Minnesota history since there has been an increase in hunting and fishing and trapping fees in the state of Minnesota.”

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, objected to the bill’s elimination of conservation fishing licenses. But Bakk said he was caught off guard when Republicans tabled the bill.

“I was surprised they came to the floor without the votes,” Bakk said. “They wanted Democrats to raise fees for them.”

Bakk said he is still prepared to offer an amendment to move up the start of this year’s fishing season by one week.

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