My dad and his wife are putting their home outside Albany up for sale next year and coming to the free state of AZ; I can't wait.
The bruising left behind by the most recent hunting, fishing and trapping license fee increases are not yet fully healed and sportsmen already see that the 38-percent increase they are paying for their licenses will do little to insulate them from the fiscal chaos in Albany.
The 2010 legislative meeting of the New York State Conservation Council this past Saturday was a real eye opener. The insanity that is Albany is mind-boggling. You wouldn't think that there are budget problems or a daily deepening of the fiscal crises that grips Albany by the throat.
In combination, members of the Senate and Assembly have introduced over 17,000 bills this session (2009-2010). By some estimates, it costs thousands of dollars to introduce and manage each bill. That should come as no surprise as the latest estimate of the cost to run the Senate and Assembly is $210 million a year. You would think that during a time of fiscal crises, every member would exercise self control. But this is not the case.
Each spring, the council meets to discuss the bills that are in the legislative hopper that could have either direct or indirect impacts on hunting, fishing and conservation activities across the state. Ballooning the list is the perennial mountain of anti-gun legislation.
Representatives from sporting groups from Long Island to Niagara Falls spent most of Saturday reviewing the Council's 2010 Legislative Report. The mission: try to understand what the bills are supposed to accomplish with the objective of providing the delegates with enough information to vote on behalf of their constituencies on whether they should support or not support the bills under review.
The mood in the room, while at times jovial, swung between confused and frustrated, and ocassionally rising to agitated and angry. Sometimes, the delegates were simply amazed that some of the bills even managed to get a number assigned. I came away from the session feeling that it was well worth my time; it was a real eye-opener, because just when you think you've seen it all, you discover that you haven't.