2005 spring session state legislative achievements

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2005:

Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue on May 10, 2005 signed into
law an income tax return checkoff to help fund the state Dog & Cat
Sterilization Program. The program has been supported entirely by
the sale of commemorative license plates and unsolicited donations.

The Illinois legislature on June 2, 2005 sent to Governor
Rod Blagojevich a revised state Public Health & Safety Animal
Population Control Act. The act, HB 315, expands the funding
sources of the Illinois Pet Population Control Fund from a
commemorative license plate program to include also an income tax
return checkoff, voluntary donations, public safety fines,
forfeited sterilization deposits, and a licensing differential for
intact animals. The act also updates fines and licensing procedures,
requires shelters to offer “adoptable” animals for placement,
expands the definition of dangerous dog and streamlines dangerous dog
law enforcement, exempts feral cat caretakers from the legal
definition of an animal “owner,” and requires shelters to report
intake and killing statistics annually to the state Department of
Agriculture. “HB 669 was also passed. It would provide some
funding to wildlife rehabbers,” said American SPCA senior director
of legal training & legislation Ledy Van Kavage, for whom drafting
and lobbying HB 315 to passage has been a multi-year focal project.

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire on May 16, 2005
signed into law a bill that increases the penalty for animal fighting
from a gross misdemeanor to a Class C felony. This will raise the
maximum prison term from one year to five years, and raise the
maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000.

Maine Governor James Baldacci on May 10 signed into law a
bill to prohibit remote control hunting.

The Alabama House of Representatives on May 16 gave Allen
Layson (D-Reform) the Shroud Award for introducing a bill to reduce
the penalties for cruelty to dogs and cats. The award is presented
at the end of each legislative session to the author of the bill that
attracts the least support.

The Michigan state elections panel on June 2 accepted a
referendum petition submitted by the Committee to Restore the Dove
Shooting Ban, which will allow voters to decide whether dove hunting
should again be illegal in Michigan. Dove hunting was prohibited for
99 years before being reintroduced by the legislature as an intended
means of boosting hunting participation, which has been declining
for more than 20 years. Backed by the Humane Society of the U.S.,
the Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban collected 275,000
petition signatures, 110,000 more than were needed to qualify for
the ballot.

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