Pa. considers merging fish, game panels

    A study that says Pennsylvania could save about $5 million a year by merging its fish and game commissions is generating divided opinions on a legislative panel.

     

    Officials with the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee reviewed their conclusions Wednesday with members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

     

    The nonpartisan research organization’s senior counsel, Patricia Berger, said the Fish and Boat Commission and the Game Commission could cut 52 jobs by consolidating. Pennsylvania is the only state that has separate agencies to regulate fish and wildlife, she said.

    State Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks, said he opposes any merger on grounds that sportsmen have not been adequately consulted.

    Meanwhile, state Rep. Martin Causer, R-McKean, chairman of the House committee, said he favors a merger but he’s stopping short of predicting legislative action this year.

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