Congratulations to MAWC Vice President Ed Fry upon his appointment by the Governor to the Wildlife Advisory Commission. The Commission advises Wildlife Programs and the Secretary of DNR on wildlife matters. Members are appointment by the Governor to four-year terms.
The 2006 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on April 10 with 2,856 bills having been introduced. This number is second only to 1984 when 2,930 bills were introduced. Following is the final outcome of previously reported legislation:
HB 205/SB 278, Anne Arundel County-Deer Hunting on Private Lands-Sundays. When Sunday gun hunting was originally signed into law in 2003, Anne Arundel was among 11 counties that opted out. The County has decided that due to deer overpopulation, it would opt into the law and allow gun hunting on the first Sunday of the regular deer season. A big “thank you” goes to Delegate Virginia Clagett, District 30, Anne Arundel County, who voted against these bills on the floor of the House. SEE STATUS BELOW.
HB 939/SB 875, Montgomery County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays. Montgomery County has also been included in the 11 counties that opted out of Sunday gun hunting but because of deer overpopulation, now wants Sunday hunting. This bill differs from the Anne Arundel bill in that it specifies a “sunset” of two years and requires DNR to study the effectiveness of Sunday hunting and report its findings to the Legislature. SEE STATUS BELOW.
Sunday hunting now enjoys mass approval and support from farmers whose crops are being destroyed, to suburbanites whose neighborhoods are overrun by deer and who fear Lyme’s disease, to drivers who damage their cars and sustain injuries when they hit deer on the road.
The Anne Arundel and Montgomery County Sunday hunting bills flew through the legislative process with no opposition from Maryland residents and only a few opposition votes on the Senate and House floors. However, Senate President Mike Miller voted against all of these bills. Thank you, Mr. President!
Since these bills were cross filed in the House and Senate and are “local courtesy” bills, they passed both houses and will be signed into law by the Governor. However, MAWC continues to work with legislators and DNR to ensure that people who practice our sport will have equitable use of land.
HB 465, Howard County-Steel Jaw Leghold Trap Prohibition. This is a perennial bill that bans leghold traps in Howard County. They are already banned – on land – in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s except by farmers and their agents. This bill passed the House of Delegates 115-18 and the Senate 30-16. It remains to be seen if the Governor will veto.
HB 495, Improper Transport of Horses – Prohibitions. This bill specifies that trailers be constructed in a manner that will ensure the health and well being of horses. This is a common sense bill that benefits all of us and our horses. This bill passed the House 139-0 and the Senate 47-0 and should be signed by the Governor.
For further information on legislation and to find out how to contact your legislators, visitwww.mlis.state.md.us or click on Maryland General Assembly on our Links page.