Today, Maryland lawmakers on the so-called “pit bull task force” assembled to hold hearings and discuss the effects of the recent discriminatory court decision in Tracey v Solesky. Panel members, consisting of various stakeholders—including animal welfare groups, animal shelters, lawyers, and so forth—spoke to the legislative task force for five minutes each.
You can hear the entire four-hour task force meeting here: http://mlis.state.md.us/mgaweb/senatecmtaudio.aspx . Select the Judicial Proceedings Committee for June 19 (Session 2). You will need RealPlayer (download for free at www.real.com) to play the file.
If you don’t have four hours to spend, you can skip to around the 1-hour mark and listen for about an hour to hear testimony from Animal Farm Foundation, a Prince Georges County official, and somewhat illogical testimony from a PETA rep.
A transcript of the hearing can be read here: June 19 MD task force hearing transcript (PDF)
Alternatively, a good summary of some of the significant speakers at the meeting can be read here: http://www.examiner.com/article/maryland-pit-bull-task-force-finds-consensus-for-strict-liability
This information from the above article is the most important for those of you wondering what you can do, or what will happen next.
The task force’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 26th at 10:00 a.m. in the Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing room. The meeting will be open to the public, but individuals will not have the opportunity to give testimony.
Task force co-chair Delegate Curt Anderson asked those in attendance and those who listened to the testimony on the Internet to “please feel free to continue to contact us regarding your opinions about this especially in light of what we have heard today. If you think there were any inconsistent or erroneous statements made, we certainly would like to hear from you.”
Task force co-chair Senator Brian Frosh added that the next meeting was scheduled under the assumption that a second special session would be held on July 9th, but that the task force meeting will likely be postponed if Governor O’Malley does not call for the second special session.
So if you listened to the testimony and found yourself biting your tongue when certain people said things that were stereotypical or nonfactual… you can send the task force members (below) your EXTREMELY RESPECTFUL!! and informative correspondence.
Contact info for task force legislators:
Brian.Frosh@senate.state.md.us; Lisa.Gladden@senate.state.md.us; Joseph.Getty@senate.state.md.us; Jamie.Raskin@senate.state.md.us; Norman.Stone@senate.state.md.us; Curt.Anderson@house.state.md.us; Eric.Bromwell@house.state.md.us; Benjamin.Kramer@house.state.md.us; Heather.Mizeur@house.state.md.us; Michael.Smigiel@house.state.md.us