Legislature sends two fishing bills to governor

A third bill requiring transparency of Fish and Game Commission meetings was ordered to be inactive.

SACRAMENTO — At least two fishing-related bills are headed to the governor’s desk for signature, while a third piece of outdoors-themed legislation probably won’t be getting out of the legislature.

The sands of time are running thin for state senators and assembly members to have their bills approved and then signed into law. Several bills have already been approved, signed, withheld or vetoed.

Senate Bill 144 (SB 144) and Senate Bill 161 (SB 161) were recently approved by both legislative houses and were en route to the governor’s desk for signature.

Meanwhile Assembly Bill 1337 appears to met some resistance as a state senator requested the proposal be placed on the inactive file.

Senate Bill 144

A proposal to use funds taken from steelhead trout reporting to help pay for conservation programs earned the support of assembly members and state senators, meaning SB 144 will be in front of Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.

All 40 state senators voted in favor of the bill in late May; SB 144 passed out of the Assembly by a 75-0 vote on Sept. 5.

Anyone taking steelhead trout from the state’s inland waters must have a fishing report-restoration card on their possession. The base fee for the card was set at $5 in 2004; the fee has been subject to annual adjustments ever since.

Funds raised from the card fee were directed toward steelhead trout conservation programs. However the program was set to end Jan. 1, 2018. SB 144 would extend the report card funding for conservation programs until Jan. 1, 2023.

Senate Bill 161

The Fish and Game Commission could be required to create a form Tribal Committee if SB 161 is signed into law. State Senators approved SB 161 by a 40-0 vote on May 31; the Assembly followed up with a 79-0 vote on Sept. 7.

A Tribal Committee, if established by Brown’s signature, would have at least one commissioner on board. All committee business and recommendations would be reported on to the full commission.

Assembly Bill 1337

Assembly Members Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, introduced AB 1337 as part of an effort to require the Fish and Game Commission to broadcast live video feeds of each of its meetings or hearings, including those conducted by the Marine Resources, Wildlife Resources or Tribal Committee, which is otherwise open to the public.

AB 1337 seemed to have support early on, with Assembly members voting 76-0 in favor of the proposal in early May. The bill cleared two State Senate committees before coming in front of the upper legislative body for a vote. However the bill was ordered to the “Inactive File” at the request of State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg.

A bill placed on the inactive file is considered dead or dormant.

National Park Service photo

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