Senate pass bill aiming to raise funds for Wyoming wildlife highway-related costs - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Senate pass bill aiming to raise funds for Wyoming wildlife highway-related costs

(Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A bill that could bring in money for wildlife conservation in Wyoming passed the state Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

SF 18 would establish an option for people registering their vehicles to provide a donation that would go toward wildlife conservation efforts related to the transportation system. The donation would be at least $2, but the donor could choose to give a greater amount. This would apply to people registering vehicles, snowmobiles or off-road vehicles.

The funds would be distributed to the wildlife conservation account within the state highway fund, created upon the enactment of the bill.

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“Funds in the wildlife conservation account shall only be used to provide for wildlife conservation efforts related to the transportation system, including signage, wildlife corridors, wildlife crossings and game fences,” the bill states. It would also apply to snowmobile trails.

“This bill will also increase expenditures from collected Snowmobile and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle (ORV) Permit Fees for development and printing of new receipt books and mailing costs by approximately $6,100. The Department of Parks and Cultural Resources has sufficient spending authority for this expenditure increase,” the bill’s fiscal note stated.

The Senate almost unanimously voted to send the bill to the House of Representatives, with only Sen. Anthony Bouchard voting in opposition.

The bill was introduced on the first day of the budget session, Feb. 10. It was quickly and unanimously voted to be sent to the Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee on the same day. The committee recommended the bill pass the next day. The bill passed the Senate Committee of the Whole on Friday, Feb. 14 and passed a second reading on Monday, Feb. 17.

The House received the bill for introduced on Tuesday, as well.

If signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2020.