March 4, 2023

Bill supporting Game and Fish youth programs passes Senate

A bill that would allow people who purchase fishing or hunting licenses to round up to the nearest dollar to fund youth programs unanimously passed the state Senate on Friday.

Sen. Joshua Sanchez, R-Bosque, said that a child approached him and co-sponsor Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, and asked them to sponsor the legislation, SB 392. The child joined him on the Senate floor during debate.

SB 392 now heads to the House of Representatives for debate.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offers various programs for youth including a mentored youth hunting program, hunting and fishing skills camps, and educational programs.

When asked by Sen. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte, how many youth benefit from the programs, Sanchez said there are about 14,000 youth enrolled in the various programs.

“Give a youth a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a youth how to fish, the state gets his license fees for the rest of his lifetime,” Pirtle said while discussing the bill after the vote.