Legislative Notebook: Free hunting licenses proposed for military vets

mlee@macon.comFebruary 1, 2013 

Military veterans could get free lifetime hunting licenses under Senate Bill 75, filed by state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon.

The fees for those licenses help trigger matching federal funds from Washington for Georgia’s budget. Lucas said he’s filing a request for a fiscal note from Georgia State University for an official, nonpartisan estimate of the bill’s cost.

Unclear if Flint River act will be updated

The Flint River Drought Protection Act, which pays farmers to leave water in the river during drought, didn’t work last year and it’s not clear if it will be updated. For 2012, the Legislature did not appropriate any money for paying farmers, and water withdrawals continued despite low groundwater levels. Activists such as the Flint Riverkeeper criticized the weaknesses in the law and there was some official interest in amendments.

However, Department of Natural Resources lobbyist Lee Pennington said earlier this week the Legislature is not obligated to make any changes. If something new is presented, he said, it may involve doing more tests or seeking water from aquifers.

-- Compiled by Telegraph staff writer Maggie Lee

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