Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 18:57:11 -0500
Reply-To: Carol Lambert & Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Carol Lambert & Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: HB 1232 (Nongame License Plate Issue)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
I may get hung out to dry for posting this, but it's such an important issue and so many of you responded by contacting your legislators and those involved, that I'm sending the following article from today's Savannah Morning News. Thanks to Russ Wigh, I assume, for contacting the media on the coast. Strange that nothing appeared in the AJC or even on the legislative updates on the internet. Hopefully HB 1053 will pass it's hurdles later.
Tucker, DeKalb Co.
WILDLIFE TAGS MAY KEEP DIRECTED FUNDING
-->A bill that could have endangered a state wildlife program was suspended Tuesday and replaced by a bill that could boost it.A bill that could have endangered a state wildlife program was suspended Tuesday and replaced by a bill that could boost it. -->The House Motor Vehicles Committee suspended H.B. 1232, which would have redirected money collected through the sale of specialty wildlife license plates away from the Department of Natural Resources' nongame wildlife program and into the general fund. In its place the committee passed H.B. 1053, which lumps together both the creation of about 25 new specialty tags and solves a funding issue for existing specialty tags.State Rep. Jay Shaw, D-Lakeland, who sponsored H.B. 1232, argued that the funding mechanism for wildlife tags was illegal because Georgia's constitution prohibits dedicated funds.To resolve that issue, the bill passed by the Motor Vehicles Committee is accompanied by a House Resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to approve so-called "shared revenue," where a specified portion of the tag's fee goes to a special fund, according to Committee Chairman Tom Rice, R-Peachtree Corners."The allocation of funds was never constitutionally approved," Rice said. "So what's past is past. What we determined to do is insert that (wildlife tag) and seven other tags into a new bill which will have a constitutional amendment attached to it."The Nongame Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Habitat Acquisition Fund currently receives $19 from the sale of each wildlife tag. That figure would rise to $22 a tag if the bill and amendment pass. About 75 percent of the fund, which supports research and protection programs for animals that are not hunted, is generated through tag sales. "It gets better because what we've done is said not only get revenue from manufacture, they also get the renewals," Rice said. Todd Holbrook, assistant director for the DNR's Wildl!
ife Resources Division, said he felt "pretty good" about the committee
's decision."We live off that tag," he said. "It's hugely important to nongame." Wildlife supporters who had organized e-mail and phone campaigns to tell legislators they opposed H.B. 1232 were pleased with Tuesday's vote. "If this means saving that fund and keeping its individual that's wonderful news for the nongame program," said Bob Sargent, president of the nonprofit Georgia Ornithological Society. "Everyone was fearful of what would happen if it went to the general fund." H.B. 1053 must be passed by the state house and senate before it becomes law. Then residents would vote on the related constitutional amendment in November.<!--
This story is continued at the following URL::
To search GABO-L archives or manage your subscription, go to
To contact a listowner, send message to
To view GABO-L information/guidelines, go to