(02/04/2011)
West Virginia senior citizens would pay $25 for a lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping license under a measure passed by the House of Delegates.

But Wednesday's 66-32 vote was largely along party lines after GOP delegates objected to the proposal.

Residents age 65 and older currently don't need licenses. Wednesday's measure would create a new Class XS license for residents who turn 65 after Jan. 1, 2012.

Current citizens who are over 65 would be grandfathered from buying the new license.

Supporters say the $25 fee will help draw-down matching federal funds for outdoor sporting programs. But House Republicans questioned the potential windfall. They sought unsuccessfully to amend the bill to leave a lifetime license as an option.

Lawmakers have debated a lifetime license for several years. It advances to the Senate.


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