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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commissioner’s terms shortened

June 4, 2014

HONESDALE, PA — A bill that reduces the term length of Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commissioners was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett on June 2.

“The goal of this legislation is to increase the accountability of the commission to the public, while also enhancing its duty to look after the boating and fishing interests of Pennsylvanians,” said Rep. Doyle Heffley, sponsor of the bill, who is also a member of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. “I am proud to see this bill, which gained bipartisan support in the House and Senate, become law.”

The law reduces the length of terms of commissioners from eight years to four years. It limits service to no more than three consecutive four-year terms. Under the law, commissioners will be appointed and confirmed by the senate. Vacancies would still be filled for partial terms but, the law allows for only six months of additional service at the end of a term when a successor has not been appointed.

Under the former law, a Fish and Boat commissioner’s term of service was eight years and a member who fills a vacancy of less than four years was eligible for reappointment. However, a member who served a full eight-year term, or filled a vacancy for more than four years, was not eligible for reappointment for a period of eight years.