The Virginia legislature is set to take up a controversial bill that would eliminate the Virginia fishing licenses in its entirety.
If the bill is signed into law by Gov.
Ralph Northam, it would leave only the Virginia state parks and historic sites for future generations to explore and recreate.
However, Northam has made clear that the measure is just a first step in the governor’s plan to remove the licenses, and that it is unlikely to go anywhere.
He has already threatened to veto the bill if the legislation passes the legislature.
Northam’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
But the proposal comes as the Virginia Legislature is set on moving forward with its agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
The legislative session begins next month, and Northam faces an August legislative deadline to act on his plans to eliminate the licenses.
The legislation was first introduced in May by Virginia state Rep. David Loebsack, D-Richmond.
It has now become one of the state’s most contentious issues.
Northamer has argued that it was the governor who created the state license system, and he said he wanted to see it eliminated.
The legislation was originally meant to take effect in 2020, but Northam pushed back against that timeline, saying the time frame would not allow for the state to fully implement the changes he proposed.
The governor has since proposed eliminating the licenses altogether, although some lawmakers have said they would not support the bill’s repeal in its current form.