Volunteer Firefighters get 50% off Lifetime Licenses

Firedog

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Do not recall seeing this posted and i did not find it with a couple of searches but it may well apply to some of you. This is part of a recruitment and retention effort by the state. Volunteers still make up the vast majority of Firefighters in NC and finding them is getting harder and harder.. this may be an incentive to keep some for at least 5 years.. takes the cost of an adult unified sportsman down to between the infant cost and youth cost. No idea how you go about buying it on this discount.. I assume you will have to call the NCWRC directly but I will find out.

House Bill 597 / SL 2019-204

NC General Statute change as approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by the Governor on 8/27/19


FEE REDUCTION OF LIFETIME HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES ISSUABLE TO A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER WHO HAS SERVED FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS


SECTION 12.

G.S. 113-276 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

"(o) An eligible member of a volunteer fire department for five consecutive fiscal years, including the prior fiscal year, may be issued any adult resident lifetime license issued and administered by the Wildlife Resources Commission for fifty percent (50%) of the applicable license fee amount. For purposes of this subsection, the term "eligible member" means an individual appearing on the certified roster of eligible firefighters submitted to the North Carolina State Firefighters' Association under G.S. 58-86-25."

EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 13.

Sections 1 through 6 of this act become effective September 1, 2019. Sections 7 and 12 of this act become effective October 1, 2019.
Section 9 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2020.
Section 10 of this act is effective December 1, 2019, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. The remainder of this act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 20th day of August, 2019.
 

Firedog

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
FYI, talked to the WRC and while the law is in effect now, they have no process yet in place to implement it. They are targeting the first of the year. Said it will be considered a whole new license type and they have to build the back end processes around it.

Apparently they were not sure right up until the the signing that ol Roy was gonna sign it.
 

LanceR

Six Pointer
Contributor
As a former volunteer EMT I don't for a moment disagree with incentives for certain first responders. What I have a lot of issue with is a legislature that sees it as fully appropriate to stick the rest of the sporting community with the tab for their feel good law of the week and not have it paid by the general population. And having sat for a few years on the NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board I'm fully aware that we'll also see less federal matching funds for sport fish and wildlife restoration.

US Fish and Wildlife Service administrators are required by law to withhold any matching funds related to a free license and to reduce the allowable matching funds tied to reduced cost licenses by dividing the actual income amount by the cost of a full price license that person would otherwise have bought. In this case the USFWS will pay only 50% of what it would have payed for a full price license. You and I get stuck with the tab.

Yup, the rest of the sporting public and not the general public is forced ti pay for every free or reduced license twice. Once when we make up the shortfall in direct financial support for the WRC and once when we get shorted on the related federal matching funds.

The morally correct thing to have done was to tie the benefit to a guaranteed funding stream from the state's general funds and make the annual availability of the benefit contingent on annual funding in order to pay the WRC the total of both the price reduction and the federal matching fund reduction to the WRC. The legislature made a calculated and conscious decision to reach in our wallets to pick up the tab for all other North Carolinians. That's the part I have heartburn with; one small slice of the state's population being forced to pay for someone else's feel good idea that the whole state should be paying for.

Note: I am NOT referring to the lower cost licenses such as juniors and seniors as they are sold at the full price set by law for the portion of the population. It is only those licenses either given free or at a reduced cost to a special interest category while others pay full cost for the same privilege that USFWS payment is reduced for and for which you and I make up the reduced price of.


Lance
 

Firedog

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Note: I am NOT referring to the lower cost licenses such as juniors and seniors as they are sold at the full price set by law for the portion of the population. It is only those licenses either given free or at a reduced cost to a special interest category while others pay full cost for the same privilege that USFWS payment is reduced for and for which you and I make up the reduced price of.


Lance
Lance, My conversation with the wildlife folks indicated that this would be set up as a new license type, making it a lower cost license like youth or Sr. ones. If that is indeed the case then your very valid concern may well be addressed.
 

LanceR

Six Pointer
Contributor
Thanks for the info. From past experience I suspect that the regional FWS folks could go either way but at least there's hope of not losing all of the federal funds related to these licenses.

Lance
 
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