Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Update on HB 1201, 1202. Judiciary committe executive session on 1202

The WA House Judiciary Committee did not take action on HB 1201 (the bill on selling animals) today.  They did take action on 1202, the bill making a number of changes to the animal cruelty statutes.

Rep. Roberts proposed a substitute bill for HB 1202 making fairly significant changes to the proposed bill, and this was passed out of committee with a vote of 8 yeas and 5 nays for a "do pass" recommendation.

The new version of the bill no longer creates a new infraction for animal cruelty, and takes out several of the proposed changes to the definitions section.

It does retain the addition of a section on leaving animals in vehicles, and the changes to add "injury" and "food and water" to the 2nd degree cruelty statutes, as well as the changes to the animal fighting statutes which would make it apply to all types and species of animals. It removes the word "knowingly" from section 3(1)(b) on animal fighting, but retains the word "knowingly" in section 3(1), which would cover 3(1)(b) as well, making the second instance of the word redundant.

The substitute bill adds "and condition" to the definition of necessary food, along with retaining the language "or as directed by a veterinarian for medical reasons" in the definitions of necessary food and necessary water, as follows:

(j) "Necessary food" means the provision at suitable intervals of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the animal's age ((and)), species, and condition, and that is sufficient to provide a reasonable level of nutrition for the animal and is easily accessible to the animal or as directed by a veterinarian for medical reasons.

The substitute bill leaves out the other suggested changes to the definitions section that were in in the original bill. It does still remove economic distress as an affirmative defense for 2nd degree animal cruelty, and retains several of the other changes to the wording of the laws as well.

The substitute bill is not yet available on the bill's homepage as of this writing, but you can read it from the committee meeting documents here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/m/cmd/main.htm?aid=18667#items_page

Click on Amd/Proposed Subs and then on 01 - PSHB 1202 With Effect Adopted (91k), and a PDF file of the substitute bill should open. Remember, in general the existing law is in regular font. Crossed-out portions in double parenthesis ((like this)) are the parts the current bill is proposing to remove, and underlined portions would be added in the proposed bill.

Here is the video of today's Judiciary Committee executive session, 1/14/2013 at 10AM.

And here is a rough transcript of the executive session from the video. The initial discussion is from near the beginning of the video, and the recommendations and voting are from about 28 minutes in. Again, this is not an official transcript; just notes taken by one of our volunteers.

Chair: OK, we're not gonna be taking action on 1201. 1202?

Staff: 1202 makes additions and changes to the animal cruelty chapter. It creates a new civil infraction for failure to provide care, allows law enforcement and animal control with probable cause to enter an enclosed space, including a vehicle, to remove an animal that's in a life or health threatening situation because of extreme temperature or lack of ventilation, and makes a number of other changes expanding existing cruelty laws and making technical changes to the animal cruelty chapter. There is a proposed substitute in EBB and this is by Representative

Roberts. And that proposed substitute removes the civil infraction for failure to provide care. It modifies the definition of necessary food to include consideration of the animal's condition. And it removes the definitions of necessary medical attention, necessary rest, necessary shelter and necessary space. And there are no other amendments.

Chair: Thank you. Questions for staff?

Approx. 28:30

Vice chair: I move that proposed substitute House bill 1202 be adopted and reported out of committee with a Do Pass recommendation.

Chair: Proposed substitute house bill 1202 has been moved and seconded. Remarks? Representative Roberts.

Roberts: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. This, as a substitute bill, has taken out some of the portions that we heard from members of the committee that they were concerned about, that expanded definitions that might be somewhat subject to interpretation. However, it does leave in some elements, particularly with regard to an animal that's left locked in a car, and other areas in which there is concern about harm. So I would urge a yes vote.

Chair: Thank you for the remarks. Representative Rodne.

Rodne: Thank you Mr. Chair. Urging a no vote at this time. Again, although I think the bill before us as a proposed sub is an improvement on the underlying bill, we still have concerns regarding some of the implications of this bill with some of our Eastern Washington or rural constitutents. We need to add further protections to ensure that those individuals are not taken within the scope of the bill. So, for right now, we'll be no.

Chair: OK, further remarks? Clerk will call the roll.

Pedersen: Aye

Hansen: Aye

Rodne: No

O'Ban: No

Goodman: Aye

Hope: Aye

Jinkins: Aye

Kirby: Aye

Klippert: No

Nealy: No

Orwall: Aye

Roberts: Aye

Shea: No

Chair: Clerk will announce the vote

Clerk: There are eight ayes and five nays.

Chair: By your vote you've reported out substitute House Bill 1202 with a Do Pass recommendation.

No comments:

Post a Comment