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« So what is the Companion Animal Protection Act? | Main | KCMO Press Release on the Halfway Home Pet Adoptions Transition »

April 27, 2011

Comments

Dani

Thanks for wading through the bills and updating us on what is going on...MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!

PetDocsOnCall09

I wholeheartedly agree with Dani...your efforts helps make it easier for the rest of us! THANK YOU!

Brent

Dani/Tom -- thanks. You're too kind. I am not going to lie, I'm going to be happy when this is all over....and hopefully the problem breeders are shut down for good.

kmk


Brent, we should both get honorary Public Policy degrees or PolySci degrees for following this saga. I've monitored a lot of bills but this one takes the cake. Governor Nixon had to sign SB113 to keep Prop B from taking effect in November. SB113 takes effect on August 28th, or a date very close to that date.


Then there's SB161, which contains the changes (as an amendment) that were agreed to by the major organizations in Missouri with an interest in the care and treatment of dogs - The Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Missouri Farmers Care. These organizations came together and signed an agreement as to what they would all accept in regard to standards for veterinary care, living conditions, access to sufficient food and water, kennel space, and enforcement.

http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=4091895


If you go to the link you'll see that SB161 is an Ag bill that relates to all sorts of topics - noxious weeds, hydroelectric power, grain, etc.

SB161 passed in the house and senate Wednesday, as did the emergency clause. Governor Nixon signed it late Wednesday afternoon. The emergency clause was necessary - that means the bill goes into effect as soon as the governor signs it, rendering a referendum petition filing by "The People" (i.e., HSUS) a moot point. Emergency clauses prevent ballot referendums on critical legislation. I have a feeling it wasn't intended to be used to save dog breeders - it probably has more to do with things like funding bomb shelters if there's a war, or emergency funding in a natural disaster, but that's simply opinion and should be considered anecdotal. I'm sure it's one of those things that falls under that "health, safety, and welfare" heading. I'm always amazed at City Council meetings as to what constitutes an 'emergency'.

Had there not been an emergency clause "The People" (HSUS) promised to file a referendum petition and once they got the necessary signatures SB113/SB161 would have automatically been put on hold until after the Nov. 2012 election, when there would have been a vote on the referendum to overturn SB113 and SB161 (or it may have just been to overturn SB113 - I'm not positive), provided they got enough signatures validated by the Secretary of State on the referendum petitions. Per our constitution a referendum petition requires fewer signatures than an initiative petition (5% of the registered voters in 2/3 of the congressional districts, as opposed to 8% of the registered voters in 2/3 of the congressional districts).

We knew they could get enough signatures for a ballot initiative because they got Prop B on the ballot, so getting fewer signatures for a ballot referendum would have been a no-brainer. A ballot initiative passes a new law (like Prop B). A Ballot referendum repeals a law that was passed by the legislature.

The timing was the issue. Prop B would have taken effect in November of 2011 and with SB113 (and possibly SB161) on hold due to a referendum petition and a pending vote in November 2012, the commercial breeding industry would have been destroyed, which was the goal of HSUS in the first place.

Without the emergency clause we would have been in a situation like California where the inmates are running the asylum and special interests with deep pockets are passing unfunded, unenforceable legislation via ballot initiatives that are designed to further an agenda.

And Lord only knows how the Ballot Referendum language would have read, considering what our Secretary of State approved for the ballot summary language on Prop B. No bias there!

The cherry on top of this sundae was HSUS was also threatening a ballot initiative to require a 3/4 majority of the legislators to repeal or modify any ballot initiative passed by "the will of the people". We probably couldn't get 3/4 of the legislators to agree which side of the Capitol the Missouri River is on! I told my own state rep that idea might have some legs - it would pave the way for us to put an initiative on the ballot to allow 100 mph speed limits on I-70 with drive-through margarita bars in the median. It would make the trip between Kansas City and St. Louis a lot more interesting!

There's no way we could have battled a ballot initiative AND a ballot referendum, so the agreements were necessary to prevent complete annihilation of our commercial pet industry. The definition of a pet/domesticated animal in Prop B would have paved the way for destructive restrictions on the care of livestock and poultry.


I was unable to listen to the House debate and vote. I listened to the Senate debate and vote, and the vote was 24/10 for SB161 and 32/1 for the emergency clause. I can not explain why the Senators would vote for the emergency clause but NOT for the legislation. I suspect it was a similar scenario in the House.


I think I must have been sick the day this was covered in my eighth grade civic class. I hope that's as clear as mud and my head hurts.

:-)

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