Big fee hikes

Michigan lawmakers are approving the first significant increase in hunting and fishing license fees since 1997. Legislation passed 77-32 by the Republican-led state House Wednesday raises about $20 million more, a 40 percent boost. The money would let Michigan hire more conservation officers and improve parks, trails and habitat. The measure would create a new base hunting license costing $10 for most in-state residents, with lower rates for children and seniors. Separate fees still would be levied for hunting certain species, and some would go up. Tags for deer would rise from $15 to $20. Out-of-state residents would bear the biggest impact of fee hikes. The bills now go to the Senate. Legislators assumed the revenue from fee hikes in the next budget but need to separately approve the increases.  (AP)