Times are tough in Louisiana. We don't have money to pay our bills but we do have money to pay for special sessions that don't accomplish anything. That's called priorities or inept government. I let you pick which description you feel best expresses your feelings.

One area of government I feel strongly about is our Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Especially when it comes to Louisiana outdoorsmen and visitors from other states being able to enjoy the bounty of our " Sportsman's Paradise".

Yesterday ( April 23) the Louisiana House of Representatives failed to pass a proposal that would have allowed an increase of a few dollars on resident hunting and fishing licenses. The increased fees would help to offset several million dollars of funding the state has cut from LDWF budgets.

At first blush, the idea seems pretty simple. Let the people who choose to hunt or fish pay a little more for the privilege. We have no problem with that kind of thinking when it comes to smokers and drinkers so why not hunters? I wouldn't mind a few extra bucks to ensure that future generations will be able to hunt and fish in Louisiana.

Some lawmakers felt the increase was not necessary because the money to offset state budget cuts is already available through conservation funds. Another part of the plan would be to consolidate licenses, this could have cost savings as well.

The bottom line is this. I hope the legislators in their endless pursuit of paying for waste and worthless programs don't screw up the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the enjoyment that hundreds of thousands of residents and non-residents get from enjoying our state's most natural of natural resources.

By the way, the proposal to increase license fees is not dead. Look for it to return at a later date, cleverly disguised as something else. That's what legislators call camouflage.