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'Hike safe' card receives preliminary Senate OK
The bill begins to address the issue of how to pay for hiker rescues that has plagued the state Fish and Game Department for years. Lawmakers have tried but failed to address the problem for many years as well.
While the bill is a small step, said Sen. Bob Odell, R-New London, it does nothing to address the overall problems with the department’s financial situation.
The department’s budget for rescue costs often is exceeded, and officials have consistently asked lawmakers for another source of funding to pay for the rescues.
The state can charge hikers for the cost of the rescue, but most do not pay the bill.
The Senate has until May 15 to act on the bill.
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