WV LEGISLATURE 2008
We have kept the Legislative Information from past sessions back to 05 on here for those of you seeking animal legislative history and what has been submitted whether passed or not..
At times we have those who have voted against the legislation. You will see comments from Sylvia Shafer and at times an editorial comment from FOHO. We have attempted to keep the information just as it occurred daily at the state capitol.
Legislative Session 2008 – two animal friendly bills passed.
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs)and HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) were signed by the Governor. SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) becomes effective 6-5-08 and HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) becomes effective 6-6-08. All shelters, animal control officers, and humane officers should copy these bills.
Thanks to all that helped pass these bills. Sylvia
Both SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) and HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) While we had a lot of bills introduced these are the only two that survived. And that is thanks to Sylvia Shafer's hard lobbying work and your effort in contacting your legislators. Also thanks to Jeanne Guise for the pdf files and contact information. United we can make a difference for the animals. Submitted by Theresa Bruner
On 2-8 HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) passed the House. I am listing the delegates that voted against it. Keep in mind that this was on 2-8 when the House passed the bill to the Senate. Border, Wood Co./ Canterbury, Greenbrier Co./ Evans, Grant Co./ Hamilton Upshur CO./ J Miller, Berkeley CO/ and Romine from Tyler CO. Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) was read the second time today and it was not amended. This bill is up for passage 3-5
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) was to be read for the first time today. Since I spent the day in the House, I do not know what happened in the Senate
Sylvia But thanks to Jeanne Guise read below to see the result......
According to Jeanne Guise who checked the WVSL website : HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether), it is up for the second reading in the Senate tomorrow so contact your Senators!
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today and will have the first reading on the floor 3-4.
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) had it's first reading on the floor today. On 3-4 it will have the second reading.
An explanation of readings for those not familiar with the process.
First reading, the title and purpose of the bill is read.
Second reading is the amendment reading. In this reading the members of the legislature can try to make amendments.
Third reading is the passage or failure reading. The legislative members can make statements of support or non support. After that the members statements are heard, the members vote.
Please email your senators in your district asking them to vote for HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether). Thanks,Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) passed out of the House Judiciary meeting this afternoon. I really need your help as this bill has opposition. Please email your delegates to support and pass this bill. The more emails that are received, the better chance this bill has. It is important that you send these emails tonight or tomorrow. This is a wonderful bill and the animals need your help. Be sure you sign the emails and show the county that you reside in. You can also email other delegates that are not in your district if you have time.
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) will be heard tomorrow in the Senate Judiciary committee. If it passes out of this committee, I will ask you to email your senators. Thanks, Sylvia
These are the only two bills that are alive. All other animals bills are dead. This is an election year and very few bills had a chance. On the night of 2-27 or morning of 2-28, please send an email to Jeff Kessler, chair of Senate Judiciary, asking him to put HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) on his committee agenda and to pass as is. Then send emails to the other senators in your district asking them to help pass HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) as is.
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) needs emails. Please send an email to Carrie Webster asking her to place this bill on her judiciary agenda and to pass as is. Then email the other delegates in your district asking them to please pass SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) as is
It is important to say as is. We do not have time for amendments. This would cause the bill to go back to the originating body. Also please sign your name and the county in which you reside. The session is almost over and we need to move quickly. On the 28th the House will begin work on the Senate bills and the Senate will begin work on the House bills. Thanks, Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) has been sent to House Judiciary.
On 2-28 please email Carrie Webster to put SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) on her committee agenda.
This is the date that the House starts working on Senate bills and the Senate starts working on House bills.
No other bills have moved.
Please email Jeff Kessler on 2-28 asking him to put HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) on his committee agenda. Remember, this is adding shelter and restricted tethering to the cruelty code. Please email Senator Kessler, chair of Senate Judiciary, and ask him to put it on his agenda and to add some language back into the bill that was deleted by the House. Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) Sub passed the senate today and was sent to the House. I do not know yet which committee it was assigned to. After 2-28 we should push this bill. I will let you know which committee. This bill had a beautiful amendment and is a very good bill. At this time, no other bills are moving. Sylvia
I overlooked a good bill that was introduced 2-18,
HB 4672 (sedate vicious dogs prior to Euthanasia is a great bill for animal shelters who have euthanasia techs (a must) The bill adds the drug acepromzaine to the code 30-1A-3 which is Animal Euthanasia Technicians. This drug is a sedative type drug that could be used on vicious dogs prior to euthanasia. This will help reduce dog bites. I support this bill. It is in the House Judiciary Committee and emails should be directed to Carrie Webster. Ask her to place the bill on her committee agenda.
Some of my favorites are:
HB 2737 (Cock fighting a felony) Game cock fighting becomes a felony. I am told that this bill does not have any chance of passage.
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) which is adding shelter and restricted tethering to the cruelty code. Please email Senator Kessler, chair of Senate Judiciary, and ask him to put it on his agenda and to add some language back into the bill that was deleted by the House.
HB 4672 (change rabies vaccine due every 3 years) WV already uses a 3 year vaccine which must be repeated every two years. It is now in Agriculture Committee. Email the chair, Bill Stemple, and ask him to put it on his agenda.
HB 4452 (make spay neuter a tax deduction) making S/N a tax write off for some people. This bill needs improving which could be done in committee. This bill is now in Agriculture and the Chair is Bill Stemple .Ask him to place the bill on his agenda.
SB 566 (makes wagering on animal fights a felony) This might help reduce animal fighting. This bill is also in Agriculture and again Bill Stemple. Ask him to place the bill on his agenda. Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) was removed from the second reading calendar due to a request from Senator Barnes of Randolph County. I do not know why unless he intends to make an amendment. It is on the schedule for tomorrow.
2-18 was the last day that bills could be introduced (exceptions can be bills that are drafted in a committee) This means that the House will work on House bills and the Senate will work on Senate bills. This does not apply to resolutions.
2-24 all bills House and Senate are due out of the committees they are in. Those who do not make it out are dead. That is unless someone amends them into a bill that is out of their committees..
2-27 The last day to consider bills on third reading (passage) in the house of origin. What this means is that this is the last time for the Senate to consider Senate bills and the last day for the House to consider House bills. This also means that all bills are dead that are not on third reading.
AFTER 2-27 THE SENATE WILL WORK ON HOUSE BILLS THAT HAVE PASSED THE HOUSE AND THE HOUSE WILL WORK ON SENATE BILLS THAT HAVE PASSED THE SENATE. An example is HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) which has passed the House will not be worked on by the Senate until 2-28.
The session ends March 8th at midnight. I know this can be confusing information. Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) is on 2nd reading tomorrow on the Senate floor. This is the amendment reading. sub file of SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) first introduced on 1/23/08 below
SB 698 was introduced today. This is the same as HB 4452 (make spay neuter a tax deduction) which is the tax write off bill for s/n This bill was sent to Rules and the Bill Tracking shows that this bill was introduced in error. HB 4597 was introduced today and it is very similar to SB 566 (makes wagering on animal fights a felony). The purpose is to prohibit wagering at animal fighting ventures. This bill was sent to Agriculture and then will go to Judiciary.
HB 4632 (Vicious and dangerous dog) PLEASE READ THIS BILL. It repeals 19-20-20 and 19-20-21 of the current law and adds an entire new section to the state code. This bill is in House Judiciary. Please email Carrie Webster, the chairperson, if you like or dislike this bill. I have read it and the bill looks OK to me.
HB 4645 (protection on racehorses adopted from racetrack) This is a protection bill for horses adopted from racetracks. It requires shelter, water, food, etc. This bill is in House Judiciary. Sylvia
HB 4536 (registering kennel with 20 more cats/dogs) was introduced today. I understand the reason to be is to reduce the number of hoarders/collectors. I do not have any hope that the purpose will be any help for the problem. Anyone who maintains 20 or more cats/dogs would have to register as a Kennel. The law states as a commercial enterprise and all of you know that most hoarders are not a commercial enterprise. Please read the bill.
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) was heard today in the Senate Judiciary committee. It does have a sub that should be on the website in a couple of days. The purpose of the bill is to clarify procedures for seizing animals that are being cruelly treated. This is a very important bill for all who are involved with the procedure for seizing animals. This would apply to all law enforcement and humane officers. This bill will now go to the Senate floor and it appears that there is not anyone opposed. I think that it is a good bill. For anyone who would be involved and does not understand the bill, please email me. I think this bill will pass in both houses. Sylvia
HB 4672 (change rabies vaccine due every 3 years) was introduced today and I know that several of you want this bill. It changes the 2 year rabies law to 3 years. It was sent to House Agriculture, the chair is Bill Stemple. We need to email him and ask him to put it on the agenda of the Agriculture Committee. If it makes it out of there, it has a second reference to Judiciary. Do not email Judiciary unless it makes it out of Agriculture. You can also email all members of the Agriculture Committee, but the Chair should be emailed first. Sylvia
HB 4452 (make spay neuter a tax deduction) was introduced today. The purpose of this bill is to permit a modification to income subject to personal income tax for the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs that are family pets. I am not a tax person so I am not sure who could use this. Could a tax person please email me with who would qualify? Next week when I go back to the Statehouse, I will ask one of the bill sponsors. This bill goes first the House Agriculture and then to Finance. All emails should go to the House Agriculture Committee.
I have heard from three tax people and they feel this is a good bill. I understand that you have to itemize your deductions for WV personal income tax to get the deduction and all may not qualify. Also, this is state tax only and not Federal. This should be a great help to the low income people who need it the most. This bill is now in the House Agriculture Committee. You should email Bill Stemple, he is the chairperson. Ask him to please place this bill on his agenda. If this bill gets out of his committee (Agriculture) it will then go to Finance.
I will go to the statehouse next week and find out what chance it has. Some bills take up to three years to pass.
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) Sub committee Bill that passed last week now needs emails sent. This is the bill that adds shelter from weather and cruelly tethered. The SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE needs to put it on their agenda. Your emails should be addressed to Jeff Kessler, Chair of Judiciary, stating "Please place HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) on the committee agenda." You should also email the Senators that serve on the Judiciary Committee. I hope that the Senate will add a little more language, but if not, it is still more than the current law.
HB 4344 passed the house on 2/7/08 91-6 with 6 Republican delegates voting against it.
Voting against the bill:
Larry Border of Wood County
Ray Canterbury of Greenbrier County
Allen Evans of Grant County
Bill Hamilton of Upshur County
Jonathan Miller of Berkeley County
Bill Romine of Tyler County
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) passed the house today and was received by the Senate and went to Judiciary. I need to check with the Chairman of Judiciary to see whether they are going to pursue SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) or try to amend HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether). Please do nothing until you hear from me. Sylvia
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) was read on the House floor for the first time today. This bill is on the House Calendar for 2nd reading tomorrow. This means that the bill will pass the House on Wednesday. Then it moves to the Senate. You do not need to send any emails at this time.
SB 560 (Feral Cat Colonies -enabling TNR in townships) was introduced today and it deals with feral cat colonies. This would make TNR legal for certain townships. It has many good restrictions: TNR is trap, neuter, release. This bill is first referenced to Senate Agriculture and then to Judiciary. If you wish to send emails, first direct them to Senate Agriculture members.
SB 566 (makes wagering on animal fights a felony) was introduced today. It makes all gambling at a animal fighting event a felony. This does not make gamecock fighting a felony. But does give some teeth by making it a felony to wager. This bill is worth supporting. This bill goes to Senate Agriculture first and then Judiciary. Send your emails of support to the members of the Senate Agriculture committee.
Thanks to all of you that attended Animal Appreciation Day. It was a nice presentation.
HB 4358 (protection from abuse for elephants in traveling circus) (pdf file) was introduced today. This bill has two references. First Committee is Agriculture and second is Judiciary. This bill protects elephants from abusive behavior. This would apply to a traveling circus or a fair.
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) the watered down version of SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) passed out of the Judiciary Committee and is now on the way to the floor. Sylvia
HB 4344 (changes to cruelty code cruelly chain or tether) was introduced today. This is a very watered down version of SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) . Describes shelter as Protection from the elements of weather and adds cruelly tethered behind cruelly chained. The tethering requirements that were in SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) have been removed. Please do not make calls or emails on this bill until you hear from me. This bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 2pm on the 31st. I will let you know the outcome. Sylvia
SB 305 (enable County Commissions to set standards for housing dogs) is very important for any shelter or law enforcement officer that prosecutes Cruelty to Animals.
It changes "probable cause" to preponderance of evidence." This bill deals with the bond that is placed on the accused for the cost of keeping the animal through the court date. A similar bill was passed last session and then vetoed by the Governor. There is much confusion in this state over the bond (this includes Kanawha Co.) Hopefully this will clarify the current law. I do support this bill. It has been sent to Senate Judiciary and if you support the bill; please email the members of the Judiciary Committee.
HB 4153 (increase time for trapper to check traps from 24 hours to 48) (pdf file) was introduced today and it changes the amount of time that a trapper has to check his traps. Currently it is 24 hours and this will change it to 48 hours.
I do not do anything about hunting or trapping laws as I do not know enough. Sylvia (Sylvia lobbies for the Kanawha County Animal Shelter)
So as FOHO we will tell you that we do NOT support trapping since we find it a cruelty that should be abolished. So making the period longer that an animal has to suffer in a trap should not be allowed. If you agree, please email the members of the House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee- Theresa Bruner, FOHO
SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) (pdf file) was introduced today. This is the bill that I have been working on. This is new language in our cruelty code. It describes what shelter must be. In many of our counties they think under a car or on an open front porch is shelter. This bill describes it as three sides and a roof and a shelter that provides protection from the elements.
This bill also describes proper chaining or tethering. This is a much needed bill. This bill is single referenced to just Senate Judiciary and a plus is the Senator Kessler, who is the chair of Senate Judiciary, is one of the sponsors. Please read the underscores in this bill and if you approve, please email the senators who serve on the Judiciary committee. The email should read, please place SB 274 (changes to cruelty code -defines shelter) on the agenda calendar and please pass this bill as is out of the committee. If this bill passes out of committee in good shape, then it will go to the floor where all Senators will vote.
It is now time for us to get to work. Thanks, Sylvia
PS: I am tired of dogs being chained with logging chains and barb wire.
Yes it is Sylvia! We all agree it is time for this to stop - FOHO Theresa Bruner
The Senate has introduced two bills.
1. SB 114 The purpose of this bill is to provide that horses are not included under the definition of "farm livestock" for purposes of an exemption to the prohibitions against cruelty of animals. This would mean that all horses will have to have shelter. This bill has been sent to Agriculture committee.
2. SB 164 The purpose of this bill is to empower county humane officers to pick up domestic and feral cats that are abandoned or otherwise in need of rescue thus alleviating the burden from private individuals presently taking the responsibility.
HB 2869 (sale or adoption of underage pets) (pdf file) The Sale or Adoption of sick and underage pets. No shelter could afford this and they need to read the bill. This bill is in House Agriculture.
HB 3112 (Dangerous Dog Act) (pdf file)This is the Dangerous Dog Act. I have not read the entire bill, so I do not have a comment at this time. Sylvia Shafer
Three House bills were introduced. All three were carried over from last year.
1.HB 2096 (gives county commissions authority for cat ordinances) (pdf file) Giving County Commissions the authority to have ordinances for cat control.
2.HB 2143 Exempting a dog from the Sunday hunting law that is out after 5am.
3.HB 2737 (Cock fighting a felony) is the return of the cock fighting bill. This would make all animal fighting a felony. Sylvia Shafer