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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:email@example.com
Rep. Charlene Lima: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Anastasia Williams :email@example.com
Rep. John DeSimone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Peter Palumbo :email@example.com
Thank you Melissa and Dennis.