Humane Lobby Day in Olympia, WA
The 2013 session of the Washington State Legislature officially kicked off on Monday January 14 and will run through April 28. The 105-day session has been very busy one and continues to include some very important bills to help animals.
Positive news for cats and dogs
A major companion animal bill is continuing to move through the State Legislature. SSB 5202 - the Companion Animal Assistance bill - would create a fund to assist low-income owners of cats and dogs to obtain affordable spay/neuter surgeries, and to provide for spay/neuter surgeries on feral and free-roaming cats. The bill would not make spay/neuter surgery mandatory.
SSB 5202 was passed on the Senate floor on 3/13 and has now moved to the House for consideration.
PAWS is working closely with the bill sponsors, and our colleagues in the Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies and Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation to now shepherd the bill through the House of Representatives. The substitute bill has an alternate funding source that PAWS does not believe will be sufficient, so we working with legislators to pursue workable, adequate funding options.
Stay tuned for more news and for future requests to contact your legislators about this important bill. Here’s how you can identify your district and representatives to express support for this bill.
Status of anti-cruelty bills
HB 1201 would have banned many of the ‘roadside / parking lot’ sales of animals. Despite offering some amendments to the bill, it remained too controversial and was not voted out of committee. Since no additional action was taken on this bill before the cut-off deadline of 3/13, it will not move forward this legislative session.
HB 1202 enhances the current cruelty statute and after receiving feedback from the committee, a substitute version was drafted and put forward by original bill sponsor Representative Mary Helen Roberts. The bill made it to the House floor but was never voted upon so it too will not move forward this legislative session.
PAWS will continue to work with legislators and our colleagues in animal welfare to reintroduce these bills in the 2014 legislative session.
PAWS is continuing to monitor bills that impact animals and you can also keep track of bills by visiting the legislature home page. Bills that are going through the House of Representatives start with the letters “HB” while bills going through the Senate start with the letters “SB.” When a bill has another “S” in front of it, this means it is a substitute version of the bill.