Edit 1/31/12: You are viewing an old post; HB 14 has advanced. View all alerts for HB 14: http://stopbsl.com/?s=ohio+hb+14
The Senate Judiciary Committee gave HB 14 a “thumbs up” today by voting it out of committee. This is a major hurdle cleared. Next up, the bill must be voted on by the full Senate. Although a vote date is not yet set, it could be as early as next week!
If you live in Ohio, please contact your own Ohio state senator now and tell him or her that you support HB 14 and you want them to do the same! Find your senator here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/index.cfm
You may also wish to ask the Senate President, Thomas Neihaus (SD14@senate.state.oh.us), to bring HB 14 to the floor for a vote.
Continued communication with Ohio Senators will ensure that the bill does not become forgotten, stall out, and die. It’s critical to keep the momentum going at this stage, because this is not a done deal yet.
This is taking forever. Where ARE we in the process?
Because the bill was amended slightly in the Senate Judiciary Committee, if HB 14 is approved by the Senate, the bill must go back to the House (either the full House, or a House Conference Committee) for another vote. And after that, to the governor for approval.
Here is an overview of HB 14’s past and (hopefully) future.
HB 14 was introduced. DONE.
HB 14 was approved by a House committee. DONE.
HB 14 was passed by the House. DONE.
HB 14 was sent to the Senate. DONE
HB 14 was passed by a Senate committee. DONE TODAY.
6. HB 14 still needs to be passed by the Senate.
7. HB 14 still needs to be passed by the House or a House committee.
8. HB 14 still needs to be signed by the governor.
9. HB 14 will become law and Ohio’s statewide BSL will be repealed.
What is HB 14?
HB 14 is a comprehensive dog control bill that would repeal Ohio’s statewide BSL. HB 14 has gotten further in the process than similar attempts in previous years, and has the support of the Ohio Dog Wardens Association, so we have high hopes for its success. HB 14 passed the House in June.
The full text of HB 14 as reported from the House can be read here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_14
What does HB 14 mean for Ohio?
Ohio state law currently declares ALL “pit bulls” to be “vicious dogs,” without exception. The state imposes restrictions on keeping vicious dogs/”pit bulls,” such as liability insurance and special containment rules. HB 14 revises Ohio’s current dangerous/vicious dog law significantly. It also removes the “pit bull” from automatic “vicious dog” designation.
Ohio’s state-level dog laws apply throughout the entire state, even in counties, cities, and towns. Some Ohio cities and towns do not have dog laws, and only enforce state-level laws. In cases where a city or town regulates its dogs via state dog laws, those municipalities’ laws will change along with the state’s law if HB 14 passes.
However, many counties and cities within the state have their own set of dog ordinances in their municipal code. Those laws will not change if HB 14 passes. HB 14 does not require counties or municipalities to change their laws.
Therefore, most cities and towns with dog laws that are breed-specific will still have BSL even if HB 14 passes. Because many cities and towns copied the breed-specific state law when writing their own dog laws, we expect Ohio to have a higher-than-average concentration of municipalities with BSL for some time. It will take time and individual attention to get BSL repealed in each of these municipalities.
Please be aware that HB 14 does not mean the end of BSL in Ohio—especially if you are moving into or traveling in the state with your pet dogs. HB 14 is a VERY positive step forward for Ohio, but there is much work yet to be done.