John McCoy: Push for “equal illustration” for hunters, fishermen might flip towards us | John mccoy


The small print are increasingly recognized and issues have the potential to get ugly.

A couple of weeks in the past, I wrote on this house a column about Senate Invoice 514, which might permit Governor Jim Justice and the Director of the Pure Assets Division, Steve McDaniel, to remake the Pure Assets Fee. of State.

The fee, for these unfamiliar with it, is a seven-member group that units the state’s searching and fishing laws.

Present regulation requires that the fee be made up of not less than one member from every of the state’s three congressional districts, plus 4 common members. The present composition of the panel consists of two members every from the first and 2nd districts, and three from the third district. Beneath the proposed invoice, the fee can be reorganized to incorporate not less than one member from every of MNR’s six administration districts, plus one member typically.

This in and of itself will not be what has the potential to change into ugly.

This doubtful honor has to do with how the fee can be remade. Beneath Senate Invoice 514 (or its companion invoice, Home Invoice 2867, which was launched extra just lately), justice would have the ability to scrub the home and appoint a fully new fee if he so wished.

Commissioners at present have 7-year phrases, certainly one of which expires every year. This staggers the composition of the group over a couple of administration, making certain that no governor or director of the MNR can manipulate the searching and fishing regulatory coverage in keeping with their private preferences.

The 2 payments at present into consideration don’t comprise such ensures.

If certainly one of them passes in its present kind, Justice could have the ability to switch your entire fee on July 1 if they need. These commissioners can be licensed to serve as much as two four-year phrases. Justice will make the appointments, however the wording of the payments will permit McDaniel to suggest who can be appointed.

This is the place issues might get ugly: What if, a number of years later, an animal rights activist was elected governor? She or he might merely substitute the pro-hunting and fishing commissioners with these keen to ascertain laws supposed to restrict the skills of Western Virginians to observe these hobbies.

McDaniel’s motives for pushing the payments have been referred to as into query. One of many present commissioners, Pete Cuffaro of Wheeling, mentioned in a letter to every member of the legislature that he believed McDaniel had launched the payments “in response to 4 (4) of the commissioners, together with me. , voting towards a proposal to restrict the variety of {dollars} raised from three (3) to 2 (2). “

Cuffaro predicted in his letter that he and the opposite “no” voters would get replaced if any of the payments handed.

Requested about it, McDaniel mentioned the payments had “nothing to do with the greenback restrict and all the things to do with equal illustration of hunters and anglers, and to make sure that all commissioners are accessible and accountable to these we serve.

Frankly, after watching and overlaying the fee for 41 years, I believe Cuffaro’s evaluation is honest. Over the past three years of the legal responsibility restrict debate, McDaniel has claimed to be neutral whereas doing all the things he can behind the scenes to make sure the restrict is lowered.

For the sake of argument, nevertheless, as an instance McDaniel actually needs to make it possible for all MNR districts are represented by individuals who dwell there.

Truthful sufficient. However could not that be solved with a easy code evaluation? Substitute the phrases “congressional districts” with “DNR administration districts” and depart all the things else unchanged? Since a commissioner’s time period expires every year, it will solely take two years for all six MNR districts to be represented on the committee.

It’s as if McDaniel perceived an issue within the composition of the fee and, as an alternative of utilizing a scalpel to take away and restore the problematic language, he selected to hold an ax to the affected person within the hope that he might substitute it with one other to your liking. .

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