Rep.Tilley by Bud Kraft LRC Public Information
Rep. John Tilley, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, joined fellow lawmakers in sponsoring legislation that would strengthen the rights of those who hunt and fish.
The proposed constitutional amendment proposed by Rep. Leslie Combs and House Speaker Greg Stumbo would ensure that hunting and fishing could never be outlawed without a statewide vote of the people.
A dozen other states have included similar language in their constitution, and voters in Arkansas, South Carolina and Arizona will have the opportunity to add their state to the list in November. A handful of those states took action relatively early in their statehood-1777 in Vermont' case, for example-but most of those votes have taken place since 1996.
"Our constitution protects elemental rights that no legislature or court can override," said Rep. Tilley. I believe the same should hold true in these cases as well."
Rep. Tilley noted that the amendment does not affect local, state, and federal laws that regulate, but not outlaw, hunting and fishing. "This amendment has no bearing on such things as licenses, seasons or trespassing laws," he said. "It simply ensures that hunting and fishing have the protections they deserve, because they are such a crucial part of our heritage and play an important role in our economy. None of us sponsoring this amendment wants to see them curtailed if the only reason is because of those who oppose the sports altogether."
Tilley said, "Earlier this year, the legislature took a positive step forward to ensure that the care of livestock and horses is protected at the state level and not subject to local changes that could unfairly penalize farmers. This constitutional amendment is the next logical step."
Rep. Tilley,a former prosecutor, was recognized for his work as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee last week by the Kentucky County Attorney's Association. Tilley received the 2010 "Legislative Excellence Award" at the annual meeting last week. Woodford County Attorney Alan George, who presented the plaque and serves as the association's treasurer, said, Rep. Tilley was honored because of his efforts in expanding the DUI law to included mind-altering substances.