Clock hasn’t run out on animal protection bill
To the Editor: Following a flurry of legislative activity last week, we are closer than ever to enacting landmark legislation to better protect animals against abuse and neglect. The Senate approved an historic package of animal protection measures in House Bill 869, including provisions to ensure those who mistreat animals face stronger penalties for their offenses. The bill was amended slightly by the House and currently awaits a vote on final passage.
Many advocates – myself included – were disappointed that the House adjourned without holding a final vote on the pet protection bill before the November 8 elections. However, with one session day remaining for both the House and Senate, there is still time left for lawmakers to do the right thing and ensure that animal abusers are held accountable for their actions.
House Bill 869 currently sits on the House calendar and can be approved immediately when Representatives return to session on Nov. 14. If approved by the House, the Senate could send it to the governor’s desk to be signed into law when we come back to Harrisburg on Nov. 16. Inaction on this bill means that the entire process must begin again in January, potentially delaying enactment of the new law by months or even years.
I fully understand that legislative leaders have been hesitant to vote on consequential legislation immediately following the election of new members, and for good reason. The practice of holding lame duck (post-election) sessions