Causer: Savings Would Be Realized in Merger of Game, Fish-Boat Commissions

HARRISBURG – The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) today released the results of its study on the possibility of merging the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

The study found that a merger of the commissions is feasible and would save the Commonwealth about $5 million annually, primarily through elimination of redundant upper level positions and duplication of services.

“The idea of a merger is definitely something that deserves further consideration,” Causer said. “After reading through the study, I would classify the proposed savings as a very conservative estimate; I think the savings would be far greater.

“But no matter what the amount, I firmly believe we should be working to save every dollar we can and instead investing that money in initiatives to benefit our sportsmen across the state,” he continued. “Further, I believe recent actions by the Pennsylvania Game Commission related to the position of executive director provide one more piece of evidence that reform is sorely needed in the management of our wildlife agencies.”

Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation where management and oversight of fishing, boating and wildlife activities are managed by two separate, independent agencies. That prompted Causer to introduce the resolution calling on the LBFC to study the financial feasibility, impact, costs and savings that may be realized by combining the agencies. It also directed the LBFC to explore a range of options with regard to how to structure the state’s wildlife agency to best manage the wildlife and aquatic resources of the Commonwealth.

A similar study was conducted 10 years ago, and it showed a merger was feasible and would save money. No legislative action resulted from the study’s findings, however.

Causer said he will be reviewing the study in more detail in the coming weeks and will schedule a meeting of the Game and Fisheries Committee so members can question LBFC staff about its findings.

A copy of the report is available at www.RepCauser.com.

Posted by on Mar 20 2014. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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