Tag Archives: statewide

Potential statewide BSL-Mississippi

UPDATED 1/27/2015:  We are hearing that the committee will not be bringing this bill forward to be heard.  It is unclear at this time if this is the action of the full committee or by request of the sponsor.  As of February 3rd, the bill will have passed its deadline for the committee to act and will be officially dead.  At this time we are removing contact information for the bills sponsors but will be monitoring the situation and calendars extremely closely, so that should HB 1261 be scheduled to be heard, we will be able to alert accordingly.  When we have more information or when the bill is either pulled or dead we will update here, as well as issuing a separate alert.

We are not taking the decision to remove contact information lightly and if we did not believe this was credible information, we would not have removed it.

1/25/2015-A state level alert is being issued for the state of Mississippi.

Best Friends Animal Society has discovered that a bill, House Bill 1261, has been introduced that would target dogs resembling pit bulls, including in the definition, American Bulldogs.

The language of the bill:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. The provisions of Sections 1 through 6 shall be known and may be cited as the “Mississippi Regulation of Dangerous Dogs Act.”
SECTION 2. For purposes of Sections 1 through 6 of this act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed below, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise: Dangerous dog means: 1. Any pit bull dog in a class of dogs that specifically includes the
breeds of American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog, and any other pure bred or mixed that is a combination of these breeds.

The bill creates a list of requirements for owners of dogs designated as restricted and criminal penalties for failure to meet these requirements.  Dogs must be muzzled when off the property, secured when on the property either by a kennel or tether.  The owner must place a sign on the property alerting the presence of the “dangerous dog,” keep their windows closed in a manner that the dog cannot potentially escape and a person convicted of a felony cannot own a “dangerous dog.”

One thing that stands out is the encouragement of tethering in this bill.  The bill specifies that an owner of a “dangerous dog” must  “Leash, chain, tie or tether the dog to an inanimate object other than one within a secure enclosure, such as a tree or building.

The bill gives “law enforcement officers” blanket authority to enter a person’s property in order to check that they are in compliance with the bill.

“In order to determine if there is a violation of this section, a law enforcement officer, at any time, may enter the premises where a dangerous dog is kept, or is believed to be kept, for an on-site inspection of the premises.” (emphasis mine)

This is a costly piece of legislation.  The Best Friends fiscal impact calculator estimates the expense of this piece of legislation at almost $4 and a half MILLION dollars a year.

As more and more states prohibit breed discriminatory laws, this would be a huge step back for community safety, and the rights of individuals, as well as starting a potential landslide of even more stringent forms of breed discrimination, such as bans, across the state.  We saw this effect in Ohio, when their statewide restrictions were in place.

The language of the bill in general tramples on many constitutional rights in many different ways, as well as allows dogs to be taken and killed off-hand under certain circumstances, regardless as to the actual breed or type of the dog.  As usual, we see no thought as to how these dogs will be identified and how people may contest identification, nor is there any understanding for the monumental financial strain this will put on both the state and the dogs owners.

You may view the full text of the bill here:  http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2015/pdf/HB/1200-1299/HB1261IN.pdf

Missouri HB 1116 to prohibit breed discrimination on the state level passes committee

A bill in Missouri that would prohibit municipalities from enacting breed discriminatory laws has been heard by the House judiciary Committee.

HB 1116 is very simple.  The bill seeks to add an amendment to the current state code that reads: “273.195. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit in any manner the authority of any village, town, or city to prohibit dogs from running at large or to further control or regulate dogs within its boundaries; provided that, no such ordinances, orders, policies, or regulations are specific to breed.”

Missouri HB 1116 has been passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.   The committee voted 13-2 for the bill.  HB 1116 now goes to the full house for a vote.    If it passes the full House, the bill will move to the Senate side, where it will go through the same process of committees and hearings by the Senate.  If it passes the full Senate the bill will then need to be signed by the Governor.

The legislative process is a long one, but it is important that residents continue to contact their Senators and Representatives expressing support for this bill.

There is currently no date set for the next reading.

Some have said that there are some legislators who have received correspondence against the bill, so it is important that those residents that support the bill reach out to their legislators and ask them to support it as well.

Missouri residents can find their specific legislators in the Senate here.  House representatives can be found here.

This post has been edited to reflect that there is no second committee hearing, as was reported by a local organization.  The bill is moving to the full House so residents should contact their Representatives to ask them to support this bill.

Washington legislator pre-files bill, HB2117, to prevent breed discriminatory laws on state level

A bill has been pre-filed in Washington state that would prevent municipalities from enacting breed discriminatory laws.

The bill, House Bill 2117, was pre-filed for introduction on December 10th, 2013 by  Sherry Appleton.

The bill is to amend portions of the state’s dangerous dog statutes, in order to prevent municipalities from being able to enact breed discriminatory laws on the local level.

The introduction to the bill reads as follows:

(1)A number of local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances prohibiting or placing additional restrictions on specific breeds of dogs. While the legislature recognizes that local jurisdictions have a valid public safety interest in protecting citizens from dog attacks, the legislature finds that a dog’s breed is not inherently indicative of whether or not the dog is dangerous and that the criteria for determining whether or not a dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous should be focused on the dog’s behavior.
(2) The legislature further finds that breed-specific ordinances fail to address any of the factors that cause dogs to become aggressive and place an undue hardship on responsible dog owners who provide proper socialization and training. The legislature intends to redirect the focus away from particular breeds and to instead encourage local jurisdictions to employ more effective and data-driven prevention models to control dangerous dogs and enhance public safety.

It is not clear at this time how the issues of home rule or grandfather clauses will be addressed.

In 2013 there were 3 states that passed bills that prohibit breed discriminatory laws.  These laws passed with overwhelming support from legislators and received overwhelming support from residents of those states.

It is well documented that a multi-faceted community based approach to dangerous dogs is far more effective than breed discriminatory laws.  These types of laws protect the property rights of responsible owners and require that the issue of dangerous dogs be looked at comprehensively.

Washington state residents:  Please reach out to your Senators and Representatives and respectfully ask them to support this bill.  It is important for residents to be involved in the legislative process and voice their support of such bills.  Legislators cannot act on their constituents interests if they are not expressed.

You can find your legislator via the states website here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Rhode Island HB5671, the bill to outlaw breed discrimination passes full Senate

UPDATED:  7/16/2013:  The Governor has signed this bill into law. Rhode Island now prohibits breed discriminatory laws on the state level.

 

Rhode Island HB5671 was passed by the full Senate today with a vote of 21-6.

The bill has moved along very quickly after an initial stall out of the gate.  Introduced in late February, the bill was held for study by the House committee.  The House committee passed the bill on June 20th and in 13 days the bill moved from the first step to the last.

There was opposition to this bill from the legislators in municipalities that have breed discriminatory laws in place, as well as some legislators who were undecided and abstained from voting.

Most notably, legislators from Pawtucket have been in the news speaking out against the bill.  They expressed concerns that this bill would make their communities unsafe and had attempted to mount an e-mail campaign to oppose HB5671.  What this bill will do is make sure that all responsible citizens have their rights intact, and make municipalities address the real cause of dangerous dogs of any kind, reckless and negligent dog owners.  Officials have said in news accounts that, if passed, they will abide by the new law but it remains to be seen if they will comply willingly.

It does appear that the bill will not allow places with existing breed discriminatory laws to keep them.  According to sources, Pawtucket attempted to get grandfathered in during the Senate committee but was not successful.

The bill must be enrolled before it gets to the Governors desk.  After enrollment HB5671 will move to Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s desk to be signed into law.

After being signed into law, Rhode Island will become the 16th state to outlaw breed discriminatory laws on the state level.

Please take a moment to reach out to the Governor to politely and briefly ask that he sign HB5671 into law.  Remember to put “Support HB5671″ in the subject line so they topic may be easily accessed.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee: governor@governor.ri.gov

Please also take a moment to write to the bills sponsor and co-sponsors and thank them for all the hard work they put into this bills passage.

Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Palangio:rep-palangio@rilin.state.ri.us

Co-sponsors:
Rep. Charlene Lima: rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. Anastasia Williams :rep-williams@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. John DeSimone: rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. Peter Palumbo :rep-palumbo@rilin.state.ri.us

Thank you Melissa and Dennis.

Rhode Island HB5671 to prohibit breed discriminatory laws advances to Senate

Today Rhode Island HB5671 passed the full House with a vote of 59-9.

The bill, which would prohibit any municipality from enacting a breed discriminatory law, was initially recommended to be held for further study by the House Committee.  The bill was held for over a month but was subsequently passed unanimously out of Committee. A little over a week later the bill passed the full House.

HB5671 now moves onto the Senate side, beginning with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sources inside Rhode Island have stated that more support is needed to push this bill through the Senate.  The legislative session in Rhode Island ends soon.  Legislators have been tallying supportive e-mails so it is imperative that everyone reach out and express support for this bill.

Below is the contact information for the committee.  Please remember to use the cc or bcc function when copying the e-mail addresses.  Despite sources knowing a large number of people who wrote in support of this bill, many of the legislators have said they have not received a lot of correspondence about it.  E-mails with many addresses in the “to” line are usually bounced into spam boxes, so dividing the addresses is extremely important to making sure they are received by legislators.

When writing include “Support HB5671″ in the subject line so that those who are going through the e-mails do not have to read the entire thing to know what it is about.  This will make any “at a glance” tallying easier and more effective.

Committee Chairman: sen-mccaffrey@rilin.state.ri.us

sen-archambault@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-conley@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-hodgson@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-jabour@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lombardi@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lynch@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-metts@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-nesselbush@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-raptakis@rilin.state.ri.us

New York A3952 to end discriminatory practises in insurance advances

UPDATE:  Unfortunately the New York legislative session has ended without any further action on this bill.  Hopefully with the advancement this bill saw at the end of this session, a similar bill will be brought forward in the near future.

Earlier this year a bill was introduced in the New York state legislature that would prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage or renewal of a policy based on the breed or type of dog the applicant has.  Additionally this bill would also prohibit an insurance company from charging a different rate to a person because of the type of dog they own.

The bill text:

S 3421. HOMEOWNERS’ LIABILITY INSURANCE; DOGS. 1. WITH RESPECT TO HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE POLICIES AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO THOUSAND  THREE HUNDRED  FIFTY-ONE  OF THIS CHAPTER, NO INSURER SHALL REFUSE TO ISSUE OR RENEW, CANCEL, OR CHARGE OR IMPOSE AN INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED SOLELY UPON HARBORING OR OWNING ANY DOG OF A SPECIFIC BREED OR MIXTURE OF BREEDS.
2. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT PROHIBIT AN INSURER FROM REFUSING TO ISSUE OR RENEW OR FROM CANCELING ANY SUCH CONTRACT OR POLICY, NOR FROM IMPOSING A REASONABLY INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH A POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED UPON THE DESIGNATION OF A DOG OF ANY BREED OR MIXTURE OF BREEDS AS A DANGEROUS DOG PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, BASED ON  SOUND UNDERWRITING  AND ACTUARIAL PRINCIPLES REASONABLY RELATED TO ACTUAL OR ANTICIPATED LOSS EXPERIENCE SUBJECT TO THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS  OF  SECTION THREE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE.

After a rather long period on inactivity this bill is moving forward.  The bill has passed the full Assembly and has moved on to the Senate side of the legislature.

Bills of this kind can be very difficult to pass because of the prevalence of the insurance lobby in the legislature. There is often staunch opposition to them.  The fact that the bill made it this far with the amount of votes it received is promising.  The bill passed Assembly with a comfortable majority of 105-34.

However, it is incredibly important the New York residents step up and make their voice heard.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.  Please reach out and ask them to pass this bill to allow all residents of the state to be able to get insurance.  This bill not only helps dog owners but also helps victims of dog bites, insuring that they receive some kind of compensation for an incident the requires medical care.

Contact information for the committee members:
Senator James Seward: seward@nysenate.gov
Senator Neil Breslin: breslin@senate.state.ny.us
Senator David Carlucci: carlucci@nysenate.gov
Senator Adriano Espailla: espailla@nysenate.gov
Senator John Flanagan: flanagan@nysenate.gov
Senator Martin Golden: golden@nysenate.gov
Senator Mark Grisanti: grisanti@nysenate.gov
Senator Timothy Kennedy: kennedy@nysenate.gov
Senator Andrew Lanza: lanza@senate.state.ny.us
Senator William Larkin: larkin@senate.state.ny.us
Senator Kenneth LaValle: lavalle@nysenate.gov
Senator Jack Martins: martins@nysenate.gov
Senator Ted O’Brein: obrien@nysenate.gov
Senator Thomas O’Mara: omara@nysenate.gov
Senator Kevin Parker: parker@senate.state.ny.us
Senator Jose Peralta: jperalta@nysenate.gov
Senator James Seward: seward@nysenate.gov
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky: stavisky@senate.state.ny.us
Senator David Valesky: valesky@nysenate.gov
Senator Catharine Young: cyoung@senate.state.ny.us

Rhode Island HB5671 advances to full House

The Rhode Island bill to prohibit breed discrimination on the state level has passed committee today.  It now moves on to a vote in the full House.

HB5671 will include language saying that “no city or town may enact, and rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat in the exercise of its power to further control or regulate dogs, cats or other animals as authorized by this chapter”  in both the section regulating vicious dogs and the general dog law section of state statutes.

The bill will take effect upon passage.  The language is very clear and simple, which is always a good thing in legislation.  The clearer the law the better it is for the citizens.

It is incredibly important to reach out and urge your legislators to support this bill because the legislative session ends on the 30th of June.

Rhode Island residents: Please reach out now and urge legislators to support this bill.  You can find your specific legislator here.  You must put your zip code into the search function on the top of the page.  Look for your Representatives and Senators to contact both so that they will know their constituents support HB5671.