Natural Resources Committee – Week 8, 2021


SSB 1218 – Constitutional amendment to preserve hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage

SSB 1218 is a proposed constitutional amendment giving Iowans a right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife. Under this amendment, the Legislature and the Natural Resources Commission could still adopt reasonable rules and regulations to promote wildlife conservation and management to maintain natural resources held in trust by the state for public use. The proposed amendment will not change any provision of law that relates to eminent domain, trespassing or property rights.

Twenty-three states have included some version of hunting and fishing protections in their state constitutions. The language of these amendments varies. Among those states are Minnesota (1998), Nebraska (2012), Kansas (2016) and Wisconsin (2003). Two other states have protections specific to fishing (California and Rhode Island).

For this proposed constitutional amendment to be enacted, it must pass the House and the Senate this session and once more during the 90th General Assembly (2023-24) before being put to the voters for approval in a General Election.

The committee adopted an amendment to change the proposed language that is based on the constitutional amendment adopted by Minnesota. This was one of the original state amendments adopted across the country and was widely approved by voters.
[3/3: short form (Absent: Hogg)]