HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf on Nov. 27 signed legislation that will allow hunting in the state on three Sundays during the year. One of the Sundays will be during rifle deer season, another …
HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf on Nov. 27 signed legislation that will allow hunting in the state on three Sundays during the year. One of the Sundays will be during rifle deer season, another will be during the statewide archery deer season and the third will be selected by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Until the bill takes effect next year, only crows, coyotes and foxes may be taken on Sundays.
Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) and Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) sponsored the legislation. The bill also makes trespassing while hunting a primary offense and increases penalties for trespassing. It also requires written permission from a landowner to hunt on private property on any of the Sundays. The legislation also allows farmers who don’t want people hunting on their land to mark trees or posts with purple stripes to keep hunters away.
“This bill is a result of a collaborative effort of major stakeholders. This new law will create opportunities for hunters in Pennsylvania to get into the field and generate additional revenue that can be used to address chronic wasting disease, which is fatal to deer and elk,” said Brewster.
“This is a huge win for sportsmen and women in Pennsylvania,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “Hunters have waited far too long for the freedom to hunt on Sunday, the same freedom they enjoy any other day of the week that works for them and their families.”
Supporters of Sunday hunting say that it will help current hunters to keep hunting and help recruit younger people to the sport.
On the day before Thanksgiving Wolf also signed legislation to prohibit the sale of any tobacco, nicotine or related item to anyone under 21 years of age in the state. It also expands the law to include e-cigarettes and other vaping products, and prohibits the possession of these products on school grounds.
“Numerous studies have shown tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, are particularly harmful and addictive to youths and young adults,” said Wolf. “Raising the age to 21 in combination with barring e-cigarettes at our schools will help us prevent young Pennsylvanians from engaging in this dangerous behavior.”
In the realm of public health Wolf signed a bill that establishes the Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund. The authority and fund will support the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a program created earlier in the year that that supports the financial stability of hospitals in rural communities by transitioning them from fee-for-service to global budget payments; the program includes Wayne Memorial Hospital.
“Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to quality health care within a reasonable distance from home,” said Wolf. “The Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund will help ensure the hospitals that serve rural Pennsylvanians can provide necessary services even with a lower patient volume.”