Clock hasn’t run out on an­i­mal pro­tec­tion bill

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

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

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