The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow's Needs Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate July 11.
The bipartisan bill seeks to provide flexibility to state agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters and recreational shooters. The legislation would not increase taxes or existing user fees, but would allow state fish and wildlife agencies to use existing revenues in new and innovative ways.
Hunters and recreational shooters contribute nearly $800 million annually through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF) from sporting-related excise taxes and license purchases under the Pittman-Robertson Fund to state agencies for various conservation efforts.
As hunting license purchases have slowly declined over the past four decades, it has become important to provide flexibility to states to use Pittman-Robertson funds to develop and implement strategies to retain and reactivate existing and lapsed hunters and recreational shooters as well as to recruit the nation's next generation of sportsmen and women.
The legislation is identical to the House bill introduced earlier this year by bipartisan Sportsmen's Caucus Member (CSC) Representatives Austin Scott (GA), Mark Veasey (TX), Debbie Dingell (MI), and Richard Hudson (NC).
The Senate bill was introduced by CSC members Senators Jim Risch (ID), Deb Fischer (NE), Martin Heinrich (NM), John Boozman (AR), and Joe Manchin (WV), Lamar Alexander (TN), Doug Jones (AL), Tom Cotton (AR), and Angus King (ME).