Need some Help Call to Action - License Fund Restoration
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  1. #1

    Default Call to Action - License Fund Restoration

    As many of you are aware, our Virginia saltwater license funds are being diverted again this year to pay for budget shortfalls. We believe this year they have gone too far by ending the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament (VSWFT) program. This means the program will cease to exist and Virginia will no longer have a fishing citation program. The Senate and House Finance Committees meet this and next week in the General Assembly in Richmond. We are asking that all anglers send each committee member an email asking to restore our funds and angler programs. The more emails and letters the better. Please fill out this form ASAP and press send. Feel free to personalize your email with your own words as appropriate. Additionally, suggest you send an additional email to your delegate to make him aware and perhaps he can help carry this issue forward. To find your delegate click this website: http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

    Click here and fill out this form to send an email now:

    http://joinvssa.org/action-plan/virginia-saltwater-license-for-2017/

    Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association (VSSA)
    email:ifishva@gmail.com
    ifishva.org
    joinvssa.org
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/IfishVA/

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  3. #2
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    Thanks for the info and ease of use form Mike. I added the following to my submission.

    Finally, I fish and I vote. I hope you do the right thing!

  4. #3
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    Mike since this affects not only the average recreational angler, it also affects the tourist who charters a trip to catch a once in a lifetime fish and hopes to get a citation award to hang on his or her wall. This perk will be gone if they do not restore the program. I think each city mayor, council and all charter captains should get involved and speak up.

    I think that if all of the boat fishing clubs had their member fill out the forms and send them out then this might help the cause.

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  6. #4
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    Mike in addition to the link to your post I sent this to the Virginia Beach city Honorable Mayor and Council members,

    I would like you to know that the Virginia State legislature plans of diverting the Virginia saltwater license fund and worst off, they plan on eliminating the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament (VSWFT) program. Since it affects the tourist who charters a trip to catch a once in a lifetime fish and hopes to get a citation award to hang on his or her wall. This perk will be gone if they do not restore the program. Not only the loss of this program but the artificial reef program will be eliminated too. Something to think about and maybe with your influence in the state legislature, maybe you can help.

  7. #5
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    Folks should be aware that the state is already diverting about $1.5 M of license funds each year to the supplant general funds for VMRC operations. As most of you have probably figured out supplant means that they replace $1.5M in general funds with money from special funds.

    The budget wording does not shut down the tournament. It gives the agency the authority to shut down the tournament. My guess is that they will then squeeze the agency budget to the point where they pretty much have to shut it down.

  8. #6
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    Honorable Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
    Co Chair
    Senate Finance Committee January 9, 2017
    General Assembly Building, Room 626
    Capitol Square
    Richmond, Virginia 23219

    Dear Senator Norment,

    I attended the budget hearings last week at CNU in Newport News. I had not planned to speak ,
    but at the end of the session, you invited anyone who had not signed up to be recognized.

    I volunteered comments (as an observer) related to similarity to the same hearing processs I attended in Norfolk
    approx eight years ago. At that meeting, me and my companion were to address a "small" budget item
    related to recreational salt water fishing.

    After sitting for hours listening to the plight of the care-giver workers asking for miniscule wage
    increases, my companion and I decided our issue was to insignifant to even mention.
    We departed the meeting eight years ago without comment.

    I was reminded of that meeting 8 years ago as the similarities were overwhelming.
    That was what I attmpted to address at the end of the educational two hours at CNU.

    The same problem--the same enormous subject--different speakers....

    My budget subject is small compared to the pay problem with care-givers-
    to the point that it is embarassing to bring it up at the CNU-budget hearing format.

    John Bello (VSSA) has written you a separate letter explaining the recreational salt water fishermen's
    disstisfaction over the Administration repeatedly raiding the Recreational license fund and
    using "dedicated" license money to fund ongoing budget expenses at VMRC--
    Virginia Marine Resources Commission

    I warned John Bull, VMRC commissioner, in October that a "revolt" was brewing among
    recreational anglers who were tired of blatant the theft of "dedicated" fishing license funds merely
    to meet their VMRC funding needs.

    My warnings fell on deaf ears.

    It was not my idea to purchase a salt water recreational license from Potomac River Commission or
    from state of Maryland--the decision was a leader-less , spontaneous decision .
    However, VMRC left no option to dissatisfied recreational salt water anglers, but to deny license money
    from VA by purchasing licenses from a riciprocating jurisdiction.

    The revolt is ongoing and money is being sent daily to the Potomac River Commission by recreational
    VA fishermen who are tired of receiving no recognition from VMRC for the economic contributions made to
    the Commonwealth by the Virginia recreational Salt water fishing industry.

    It is late to alter the course of history. The "revolt" by recreational fishermen is well under way.
    Perhaps in coming years, the recreational salt water angler will receive the attention from
    VMRC, the Adminstration and from the General Assembly that the industry deserves.

    Respctfully,

    Dr. Robert Allen VSSA (VA Salt Water Sport Fishing asso. board member)
    1038 Port Harbour Arch
    Hampton, VA 23664

    757 869 0157

    e mail RBADDS@cox.net

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    Is there a way to see the impact of people buying licenses from the PRFC? Maybe a chart or sheet that shows a huge bump in the purchases of PRFC licenses vs VMRC licenses. Having that data to send with an email might wake some folks up.

    On a separate note - I emailed my delegate last week about the VSWFT and the response back was, - "Thanks for the note, I'll look into it". At least I know someone read it. Emails can't hurt! Thanks to the VSSA for putting the info out there. Contact your delegate and make them aware of the issue.

  10. #8
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    Sent mine too!

    Kevin
    Weekend Mistress

  11. #9

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    So far we have about 250 individual emails sent using our web form. If you have not already sent one, please do so soonest.

  12. #10
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    sent!

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