ARKANSAS, USA — For decades, there have been no changes made to the cost of fishing and hunting licenses issued to residents in Arkansas. That could change in the near future.
In a narrow 5-3 vote, the state Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee passed SB 670 and it now heads to the full Senate. The bill would incrementally increase fees charged for these licenses.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Pat Fitts told committee members the fee increases were necessary to keep pace with infrastructure improvements that will be needed in the coming decades.
Several legislators grilled Fitts, and bill sponsor Sen. Ron Caldwell, R-Wynne, over the timing of the bill and its confusing language. If passed, the bill would increase the licensing fees by 65% of the consumer price index through July of 2026, and then it will increase by another 25% through 2031.
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