The legislature’s “Joint Rule 10” deadline was February 5th. This is the deadline at which all legislation needs to be moved out of committee, or an extension needs to be filed. The results are still coming in – with so many bills moving, the clerks’ offices need time to process them (and determine where they will go next if released favorably). But we wanted to share with this group what we know or think has happened with bills we’ve all been tracking and working on this session. We’re working on updating www.mspca.org/currentlegislation too as we confirm more information.
As a quick recap, several bills had moved out of their initial committees and on to their next one prior to February 5th. The poaching bill (H. 4131) and one of the circus ban bills (H. 2934) are in House Ways and Means. The other circus ban bill (S. 2028), ivory bill (S. 496), beagle bill (S. 2463) and declawing ban (S. 169) are in Senate Ways and Means.
In early February, the bills to end discrimination by insurance companies based on perceived dog breed were reported favorably. S. 505 — the bill relating to alternative test methods — will move forward, as will a bill to ban the possession of animals by those convicted of animal cruelty (S. 1037). Both of these bill numbers may change as they were amended in their committees.
The bills to ban the retail sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits was greatly changed in its initial committee making it not a ban bill at all; we’re still reviewing the language, but it is very problematic, making the bill as is not something to support.
A few committees have requested extensions on some animal bills, including the Municipalities and Regional Government Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Bills still in these committees include: the bills to protect puppies and kittens/regulate doggie daycares, breeders, etc. (S. 114 and H. 1774), the bills to address the remedies available for the sale of sick puppies and kittens (S. 1204 and H. 1823), and the bills to allow citations for cruel conditions (H. 1822 and S. 989 (Judiciary)).
We are also still waiting to see what happened with bills relating to trapping and Sunday hunting — we believe something will come out favorably (that almost always happens) but not sure exactly what yet. A provision to allow bow and arrow deer hunting on Sundays was included in the Governor’s budget, so you may hear more about that as we near House budget time (April).
Please visit www.mspca.org/currentlegislation for updates!
What you can do:
- Attend Lobby Day at the State House on March 24. Register here!
- We are waiting for several bills to be sent to their next Committee but here are some actions to take now on bills that have moved.
- Ask your state representative to support H. 2934, and your state senator to support S. 2028. (circus bills)
- Ask your state senator to support S. 496 (ivory bill)
- Ask your state representative to support H. 4131 (poaching bill)
- Ask your state senator to support S. 2463 (beagle bill)
- Ask your state senator to support S. 169 (declawing bill)
Keep up with animal issues across the Commonwealth by joining the Animal Action Team and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! mspca.org/jointheteam.