House Budget Alert!!!
GOAL Succeeds in Protecting Fish and Wildlife Funding
April 30, 2010
During the last week of April 2010 the Massachusetts House of Representatives debated the fiscal year 2011 state budget. Prior to the debates taking place, the House members were required to submit any proposed amendments to the budget. When these amendments were posted for the general public Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) alerted our members to several threats to professional wildlife management here in the Commonwealth. We are pleased to say that the calls from our members and the hard work of friendly legislators were successful!
Two amendments were filed to the FY2011 House budget that would have diverted millions of dollars from the Inland Fisheries and Game Fund. The proposed amendments, #149 and #152 filed by Representative James Murphy of the 4th Norfolk District were ultimately defeated!
The other problem facing wildlife management was cuts in the proposed budgets. The main operational line item for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) and the line item for the Wildland Acquisition Account (Land Stamp) were both cut by $500,000 in the proposed House budget. It is important to remember that these accounts are paid for by sportsmen and women. While the money is already in the protected accounts, the legislature must appropriate it in order for the DFW to utilize it.
Representative William Straus (D) of Mattapoisett and co-sponsor Representative George Peterson (R) of Grafton filed two amendments to restore the funding. In a true bipartisan effort the two legislators worked tirelessly on behalf of our members to successfully get these amendments passed during the environmental portion of the budget session. What made their efforts on these two amendments even more astounding was that they were able to get them passed when hundreds of other amendments during that portion of the budget process were unsuccessful.
“This was a great example of how fast our members and supportive legislators can respond to a crisis,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “It is unfortunate that we have to go through such an ordeal to protect the dedicated funding resources for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. However, it is another shining example of the dedication our members have to professional wildlife management and land conservation.”
GOAL would like to thank Rep. William Straus, Rep. George Peterson and the other legislators that stepped forward to protect the integrity of the Inland Fisheries and Game Fund and professional wildlife management. We would also like to thank our members for responding so quickly to our alerts and contacting their legislators.
Please go to http://goalhunters.org/aprilbudgetalert.html to get more history on this successful effort.
April 29, 2010 Update! Great News!
Congratulations all! Once again our voice was heard, Representatives Straus and Peterson were successful in passing their amendments #27 (to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife line # 2310-0200) and #28 (to the Wildland acquisition line 2310-0316) to the House FY2011 Budget (H.4599) which killed the proposed amendments, #149 and #152 filed by Representative James Murphy of the 4th Norfolk District.
This is a win for all lawful gun owners, hunters, and outdoorsmen!
The final vote is yet to come and we will continue to monitor the budget proceedings to ensure that no last minute changes are made, we ask all of our members to do the same.
Please take the time to drop Rep Peterson and Rep Strauss a note of thanks, these are the good guys on our side!
April 28, 2010 Update!
Representative William M. Straus and Representative George N. Peterson, Jr. have filed amendments #27 (to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife line # 2310-0200) and #28 (to the Wildland acquisition line 2310-0316) to the House FY2011 Budget (H.4599) regarding The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Land Stamp funding. These amendments would restore the current funding and prevent the half-million dollar proposed cut.
As a reminder, both of these programs are funded by license fees generated by hunting, fishing and trapping!
GOAL is urging all of our members to contact their State Representative (Senators will not have any input on this bill until later in the process.) and ask them to support House Budget (H.4599) Amendment numbers 27 and 28. (see links below)
4/26/10 Update, Thanks to all of our members who have called about this.
Just wanted to let you all know that Representative James Murphy's office is giving out some bad information.
They are stating "we are working with GOAL to reach a compromise"
This is NOT TRUE. We have not been contacted by Representative Murphy in regards to this issue.
Just to be clear, GOAL is not working on a compromise, GOAL is working to eliminate these amendments.
Please continue to call in regards to this issue.
April 21, 2010
Inland Fisheries and Game Fund and Wildland Stamp Account under Attack!!
As the Massachusetts House of Representatives prepares to debate the Fiscal Year 2011 state budget (H.4599) Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) has been made aware of proposed amendments to the budget that would once again raid our wildlife management and land acquisition funds. The proposed amendments, #149 and #152 filed by Representative James Murphy of the 4th Norfolk District proposes the following:
All sportsmen/women, gun owners, conservationists, etc. should take this threat to professional wildlife management and land conservation very seriously. We all must remember that less than a decade ago, in 2003, we all had to join forces to fight back against an all out assault on the entire Inland Fisheries and Game Fund.
While the treatment and rehabilitation of these animals may well be a worthwhile endeavor, it is not the appropriate use of these funds. For nearly a century sportsmen/women and gun owners have led the way in wildlife management and land conservation. In doing so we willingly funded the majority of these efforts when all others have refused to do so. Now others are trying to take what we have worked so hard to establish.
GOAL is urging all of our members to contact their State Representative (Senators will not have any input on this bill until later in the process.) and ask them to oppose House Budget (H.4599) Amendment numbers 149 and 152. Please do not take this threat lightly, call now! Debate on this bill is scheduled to begin the week of April 26th.
To find your legislators: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php
House Budget Site: http://www.mass.gov/legis/11budget/house/
For a history of DFW and acquisitions: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/habitat/land/land_acquisitions.htm
Wildland Acquisition Account law: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/131-2a.htm
Budget Amendment Language
House Budget Amendment #149
The bill be amended in Section 2 in line item 2310-0200, line 4, by inserting after the word management,:- and the medical treatment, caring, rehabilitation, and releasing of nongame wildlife and endangered species in the commonwealth.
House Budget Amendment #152
Representative James M. Murphy moved that the bill be amended after Section 45 by inserting the following sections:
Section 1. Chapter 131 section 2A of the Massachusetts General Laws as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting the following sections.
Section 2B. Wildlife Rehabilitation Account. Section 2B. There is hereby established within the Inland Fisheries and Game Fund, a wildlife rehabilitation account which shall be credited monies received from the sale of wildland conservation stamps, the portion of the fees for sporting, fishing, trapping and hunting licenses to be credited under the provisions of section 2C, contributions thereto and any grant monies from the federal government or other public and private sources. Said account, subject to appropriation, shall be used only for the purposes pursuant to chapter 131 section 2C subsection (12) as amended.
Section 2B subsection (1). The director shall distribute the funds in the wildlife rehabilitation account equally to all nonprofits organization licensed by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife that provides wildlife medical treatment, caring, rehabilitation, and releasing of nongame wildlife and endangered species in the commonwealth. Section 2. Chapter 131 section 2C of the Massachusetts General Laws as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting the following words after 2A. And $1 from the sale of each sporting, fishing, trapping and hunting license shall be credited to the wildlife rehabilitation account.
Section 3. Chapter 131 section 2C subsection (12) of the Massachusetts General Laws as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting the following words after “perpetuation” medical treatment, caring, rehabilitation, and releasing.
National Wildlife Managment Fact Points:
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