The Iowa Senate has jumped into a dispute over raccoon hunting. Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley says he got a complaint from a constituent after a boy tagging along on a raccoon hunt got ticketed by a state D.N.R. officer.
“And I remember as a Boy Scout I used to go out with Harvey Hull and walk through the woods and listen to the dogs and just have a thoroughly engaging evening, but I didn’t carry a gun,” McKinley says. “This young guy wasn’t carrying a gun. D.N.R. caught him and fined him because he didn’t have a fur-bearing license.”
So, McKinley authored a bill which says un-armed kids under the age of 16 can tag-along with an adult who’s hunting for raccoons. The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday — after Senator Dick Dearden, a Democrat from Des Moines, ribbed the Republican leader a bit about the subject matter.
“Must be something to do with job creation,” Dearden said, laughing. McKinley has complained Democrats who control the Senate’s debate agenda have taken a “go slow” approach to priority issues like job creation. McKinley, in turn, jokes this may be the only bill he’s authored that passes the Democratically-led senate.
“Well, I’ve got all these substantive things to improve student achievement, to cut spending, to deal with taxes, and what do I do? I get a raccoon hunting bill passed,” McKinley says, with a laugh. “But it will serve people well.” The proposal must also pass the House before it would go to Governor Branstad for his approval.