A bill that would establish higher fee caps on Game and Parks Commission licenses, permits and stamps advanced Monday after a six-hour attempt to halt it.
Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers filibustered the bill to make a point about the failure of his mountain lion hunting ban (LB961) to advance from the Natural Resources Committee.
The Game and Parks fee bill (LB745), introduced by Omaha Sen. John McCollister, would increase the caps on user fees that the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is authorized to charge for a variety of licenses, permits and stamps.
Caps could be raised in 48 categories.
With the increased caps on fees, the department could gain $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $5 million in 2017-18, according to the bill's fiscal note.
McCollister said the commission would judiciously increase fees over a period of time. Last time the caps were raised, in 2003, it took seven years for the commission to raise the fees to the capped amounts, he said.
Sen. Lydia Brasch opposed the bill, saying the Legislature needs to keep fees from becoming burdensome on the public. She favored taking more time to talk about funding for parks.
"I do not want to take any more money out of anyone's pocket than we can help," she said.
She made an unsuccessful attempt to change the bill to extend the hunting season of upland game birds and mallard ducks two weeks, to April 15.
The Legislature voted to stop the filibuster and force a vote on the bill. The bill advanced on a 39-3 vote.