LANSING (AP) – Michigan lawmakers are closer to approving the first significant increase in hunting and fishing license fees since 1997.

Legislation passed 24-14 by the Senate Wednesday raises about $20 million more, a 40 percent boost. The money would be used to improve wildlife, fisheries and habitat programs.

A new base hunting license would take effect in April 2014 and cost $11 for most in-state residents. Separate fees still would be levied for hunting certain species. Tags for deer would rise from $15 to $20.

Legislators have assumed the revenue from fee hikes in the next budget. Senators had trouble approving them, though, until a Democrat won an amendment requiring more transparency about how the additional revenue will be spent.

The House plans to send the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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