Friday, February 15, 2019

Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing the Right to Hunt & Fish Filed in Illinois

Each year thousands of bills and resolutions get filed in Illinois to become law.  Most of these bills get stuck in committee and never really gain any traction.  Bills, however, that have legislator support, constituent support or are overall popular, usually end up seeing movement.  However, popularity doesn't always stem from within the state and outside influence can also start the avalanche of support for a particular bill.  Let's take a look at one of the most recent House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment.

    • Synopsis As Introduced - Proposes to amend the Environment Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides that each person has the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including using traditional methods, subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly and rules adopted under authority granted by the General Assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Provides that public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means to manage and control wildlife. Provides that nothing shall be construed to modify any provision of law that relates to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain. Effective upon being declared adopted.

Introduced on February 15, 2019 by Republican Representative Patrick Windhorst, of Harrisburg, Illinois.  Some readers might be surprised to know that this isn't the first time a bill like this has been introduced in Illinois.  Senator Sam McCann had a similar bill during the 100th GA. 

From 1776 - 1996 Vermont was the only state in the union that made hunting and fishing a right.  Since then, 21 other states have amended their constitutions to make hunting and fishing a right, with North Carolina being the most recent.  

Will Illinois be the 22nd?

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