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Jun 25, 2010 4:27 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State may repeal saltwater fishing license

Jun 25, 2010 4:27 PM

A bill introduced in the New York State Senate last week to repeal the state’s $10 saltwater fishing license passed nearly unanimously, but local lawmakers say an actual repeal of the fishing license proposal is a long way from becoming reality.

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Brian X. Foley, the former Brookhaven supervisor, passed 60-1 in the State Senate on June 16. But the State Assembly has yet to address such a bill, like one introduced several times by State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., and any repeal of the license would have to be accompanied by $3 million in cost cutting elsewhere to make up for the lost revenue from the anticipated sales of the licenses in 2011.

Mr. Thiele, who has been one of the staunchest opponents of the licenses in the state government since they were introduced last year, was critical of Mr. Foley’s introduction of the bill, calling it an empty move on Mr. Foley’s part. Mr. Foley voted in favor of the initial license proposal last year.

“It’s far, far, far, from a done deal,” Mr. Thiele said from Albany on Tuesday. “Anything that is going to happen here with the recreational fishing license isn’t going to happen through a freestanding bill. It’s going to have to happen through the budget process because it’s got a $3 million price tag on it. The governor is trying to close a budget gap, not give money away.”

State Senator Kenneth LaValle voted in favor of the bill last week and said he hoped the legislature would pass a similar bill.

“I am hopeful that this bill passes both houses,” he said on the senate chamber floor, “and that there’s commensurate dollars in the budget to ensure that the saltwater license fee is done away with.”

Mr. Thiele has introduced bills in the assembly calling for the repeal of the fishing license twice since the license took effect in October 2009. The metro and upstate dominated legislature has never moved to a vote on his proposal.

Mr. Thiele said he thinks the best avenue for getting the license repealed may be the legal actions taken by the Southampton Town Trustees and East Hampton Town Trustees and their counterparts from several other Long Island townships that have filed a joint lawsuit against the state for imposing the license. The suit claims that colonial-era charters, which were ratified by the state constitution, protect residents of the towns from being restricted from fishing.

A state judge is currently considering arguments made by the towns and state this spring. An injunction is currently in place against the state enforcing the license requirement within the townships involved in the lawsuit, though some popular fishing areas that lie outside the Trustees’ jurisdiction, such as Montauk, are not protected by the injunction.

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i know the state is broke and the politicos are always looking for ways for you and me to pay the bill, fishing tax, gas tax, cigarette tax, tax, tax. what's next? a breathing tax? how about you brave lawmakers start taxing yourselves. on the use of government vehicles, gas, accommodations when they travel. hell you could even tax your "girlfriend/boyfriend" usage.
By uncleronk (136), southold on Jun 23, 10 2:31 PM
New York should tax New Jersey and Conneticut so ppl in NY actually like NY.
By SirHampton (60), quogue on Jun 24, 10 1:29 AM
local goverment isn't the issue.It's state goverment.people want more and more services from the state and that costs money.the game of politics in a nutshell is give the people the "gifts" they want and the politician stays in office.In order to give these "gifts" the goverment gets bigger and spending goes up (saleries ect} the problem here starts with the people and ends with the people not local goverment, who by the way fall into the above article..lol
By typical (63), southampton on Jun 25, 10 8:58 AM