HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill allowing people to qualify for hunting and boating licenses by taking approved online courses.

Opinions are mixed about the proposal that was requested by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

In testimony to the legislature’s Environment Committee, scheduled to vote Monday on the bill, Environmental Commissioner Daniel Esty said the online boating courses would co-exist and be competitive with approved classroom courses.

He says they’d provide increased flexibility and options to resident boaters and out-of-state operators mandated to take a safety course.

Esty said online hunting classes would increase safe firearms handling training and hunting safety.

But opponents of the bill, including numerous boating enthusiasts and captains, have argued that a classroom setting with an instructor is superior to an online course.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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