Legislative Watch

Hunter Voter Bill Approved in Florida

GROWING VOTERS: A bill modeled after Motor Voter laws that make it easy for people to register to vote at the same time they get their driver's license has been approved in Florida. This bill, however, would allow sportsmen to register to vote when buying a hunting or fishing license.

HOW IT WORKS: Under the bill, people buying licenses by phone can request that a voter registration form be mailed to them; online purchasers can link to a Web site; and those who buy their licenses at a store can complete the form right there and mail it in.

A GOOD IDEA: Similar legislation was passed in Georgia last year. It's a great way to register more sportsmen to vote and give them a voice on important issues that can affect the future of hunting and fishing.

Maryland Aids Disabled Vets

THEY EARNED IT: A bill to give lifetime hunting licenses to disabled veterans drew no opposition in the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee. Sponsored by Rep. LeRoy E. Myers, the bill would grant licenses to vets who were disabled in combat or were prisoners of war.

FULL SUPPORT: Under current state law, disabled vets are eligible for free licenses but must renew them each year. The state game agency, which issued 74 one-year licenses in 2004, supports the bill. Paul Peditto, director of the Wildlife and Heritage Service, told the committee it would have no fiscal impact on the department.