Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Prestin introduces plan to offer first responders, corrections officers free hunting and fishing licenses
RELEASE|March 12, 2024
Contact: David Prestin

State Rep. Dave Prestin, along with his colleagues State Reps. Kathy Schmaltz and Tyrone Carter, today introduced a legislative package that would offer EMS personnel, firefighters, law enforcement, and corrections officers free hunting and fishing licenses. The occupations have faced critical staffing shortages in recent years.

“These bills are a part of a series of incremental improvements to make these jobs more desirable. These bills are an important step toward reversing staffing shortages,” Prestin said. “I know that many EMS personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are also passionate outdoorsmen. Something as simple as free licenses will remind current and future staff they’re appreciated every time they want to go hunting or fishing.”

House Bills 5558-5560 would allow law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and EMS personnel, and firefighters to obtain Michigan hunting and fishing licenses free of charge. Any license obtained through a lottery would not qualify for free purchase. Prestin, a licensed paramedic, volunteer firefighter, and avid outdoorsman has worked as a first responder for over 13 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked as a hospital-based paramedic to help fill critical staffing shortages.

“EMS, firefighters, corrections officers, and law enforcement are all facing crisis-level staffing shortages, especially in the Upper Peninsula,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “The people that provide these services to the public do more for us than we could ever compensate. We owe them more, and this is a good faith gesture of appreciation from the state for everything they sacrifice. The old methods of hiring aren’t working anymore. We need to find new ways to recruit and retain quality staff.”

HBs 5558-5560 were referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources for further consideration.


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