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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Parks and Wildlife Code relating to
bag limits in fishing tournaments held on the southern stretches of the Sabine
or Neches River, in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, or in the Gulf of Mexico
adjacent to certain counties. The bill would allow a participant in a
tournament that only includes competitors in high school or college to count a
largemouth bass that is smaller than the legal limit by two inches or less
towards the daily bag limit. The bill would require such a fish to be
released after weighing. Tournament organizers would be required to
complete an application provided by the Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
and pay a fee of $500 to receive an exemption permit.
Based on information provided by TPWD, the bill could result in minimal revenue gain to the Game, Fish, and Water Safety Account No. 9.
The fiscal note above provides a sufficient explanation for what this bill would do.
For the most part, state exemptions aimed at a particular group or area will usually run contrary to our liberty principles. In this case there is no economic benefit to anyone so there is no market distortion, unintended consequences, or picking of winners and losers by the government. For this reason we are neutral on this legislation.