Wildlife legislation would give veteran discounts on license sales

Published 1:27 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

JACKSON — Lincoln County representatives Vince Mangold and Becky Currie are one of 32 co-authors of legislation introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives Monday offering discounts to veterans for hunting and fishing license sales. Rep. Stacey Hobgood-Wilkes is the principal author of the bill. 

House Bill 370 would revise the fees charged for hunting and fishing licenses issued to veterans who have at least 70 percent non-permanent service related disability by the Veterans Administration or United States Department of Veteran Affairs. The bill would prohibit the MDWFP from collecting any additional fees to recoup administrative costs for issuing those licenses. 

Qualified disabled veterans would be able to buy a hunting and fishing license for $1 under the legislation. The bill was referred to the House Committee of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. 

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House Bill 300 would allow the MDWFP to be reimbursed for any lost revenue after the issuance of discounts. MDWFP would need to maintain accounting for such lost revenue and submit the accounting to the Department of Finance and Administration. 

Mississippi’s Department of Finance and Administration would then have to transfer money equal to the lost revenue from the state general fund to the MDWFP on or before June 30 of each fiscal year. MDWFP’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The accounting would be subject to audit by the State Auditor’s office. 

Nearly 90 percent of MDWFP’s budget is funded by license sales. Money raised through hunting and fishing licenses go towards conservation projects, habitat management and public hunting opportunities. 

Check back for more updates from the 2024 Mississippi Legislative Session.