HARRISBURG – State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) recently introduced legislation that would authorize free fishing licenses for disabled first responders in Pennsylvania.
The legislation – Senate Bill 272 – was recently assigned to the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee, where it awaits review.
First responders who are injured while in the line of duty would be eligible for a free license, as part of the legislative measure.
“Even though there is nothing we can do that would adequately thank first responders for the valor they display, this small gesture is a measure to honor their bravery,” said Mastriano, the Vice Chairman of the panel.
“Offering disabled first responders an opportunity to participate in fishing activities for free is a small, but important way of expressing our gratitude for their sacrifice,” said Mastriano.
Disabled first responders would qualify for a free fishing license by providing written verification from a doctor proving they are 100 percent disabled. The verification must also substantiate that the disability occurred while the first responder was in the line of duty. Applicants must be Pennsylvania residents.
The state’s Fish & Boat Commission is an independent agency comprised of 10 commissioners, appointed by the Governor and approved by the legislature. It operates as a user-funded agency, receiving no tax revenue from the state’s general fund to support its programs.
The legislation was introduced as Senate Bill 1149 during the 2019-2020 legislative session.