BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1179
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 4, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                SB 1179 (Hollingsworth) - As Amended:  August 2, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Water, Parks and  
          Wildlife     Vote:                            12-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill authorizes the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to  
          designate two days per year as "Free Hunting Days."   
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)Authorizes DFG to declare two days a year-one day during the  
            fall hunting season and another in the winter hunting  
            season-as Free Hunting Days.

          2)Allows a person who meets the following conditions to hunt on  
            Free Hunting Days:

             a)   Is a California resident.
             b)   Has never held a California hunting license.
             c)   Has completed a DFG-approved hunter education course.
             d)   Has registered with DFG.
             e)   Has appropriate hunting tags, entry permits and other  
               specified documents.
             f)   Is accompanied by a person age 21 or older who has held  
               a California hunting license for at least three consecutive  
               years and who will accompany no more than one unlicensed  
               hunter in the field at a time.  

          3)Authorizes DFG to adopt additional minimal restrictions for  
            Free Hunting Days.

          4)Delays the bill's implementation until after DFG's Automated  
            License Date System (ALDS) has been in operation for at least  
            one year. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  








                                                                  SB 1179
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          1)Potential annual costs to DFG of an unknown amount, but likely  
            around $125,000, to deploy additional enforcement staff on  
            Free Hunting Days, many of who will receive overtime pay.   
            (Fish and Game Preservation Fund (FGPF))

          2)Minor costs to DFG to administer program and, if it chooses,  
            to adopt additional minimum requirements for Free Hunting  
            Days.

          3)Potential annual loss in revenue to DFG of an unknown but  
            likely minor amount to the extent residents participate in  
            Free Hunting Days instead of purchasing hunting licenses.   
            (FGPF) 

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  .  The author describes this bill as allowing  
            residents who have never hunted to try the sport without  
            further commitment.  The author contends some residents who  
            would otherwise not do so will become regular hunters and, as  
            a consequence, purchase hunting licenses and tags, the revenue  
            from which supports activities funded from the FGPF.

           2)Background  .  

              a)   Regulation of Hunting and Fishing  .  Existing law  
               requires hunters to possess a hunting license to take birds  
               or mammals in California.  To receive a hunting license, an  
               individual must complete a hunting education course, which  
               includes a minimum of 10 hours of coursework covering  
               firearm safety and handling, sportsmanship and ethics,  
               wildlife management and conservation, archery, black  
               powder, wildlife identification, game care, first aid, and  
               survival.  According to the policy committee analysis, the  
               course requirement acts as a minimum age requirement for  
               hunting.  This is because those seeking to complete the  
               hunting education course must be of an age to possess the  
               mental ability to complete the course.

               Similarly, existing law requires possession of a fishing  
               license to take fish, though there are no education  
               requirements.  Under current law, DFG may designate two  
               free fishing days per year. 









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              b)   DFG's Automated License Date System  . DFG's ALDS is, as  
               its name suggests, an automated, interconnected, electronic  
               system used by DFG to track and issue hunting and fishing  
               licenses.  DFG reports it already uses ALDS, which will  
               eventually replace DFG's older paper-based licensing  
               system. 

           3)Support  .  This bill is supported by numerous hunting and  
            outdoor groups and the Sierra Club, who contend hunters are  
            stewards of California wildlife and its habitat.

           4)Opposition  .  This bill is opposed by DFG, who argues the bill  
            could expose the state to liability by not fully addressing  
            hunter education requirements, requirements applicable to take  
            of certain species such as duck and upland game, and the lack  
            of an effective tracking system to prevent abuse.  The latest  
            amendments to this bill seem to address many of DFG's  
            concerns; however, at the time this analysis was prepared, the  
            department was unable to indicate whether it will remove its  
            opposition in response to the amendments.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jay Dickenson / APPR. / (916) 319-2081