A couple of weeks ago I wrote that a bill in the Washington Legislature that would create a statewide animal cruelty registry was introduced into the Senate Law and Justice Committee yesterday.
Senate bill 6234 (SB 6234), which is modeled after a law passed in Tennessee last year, was sponsored by Senator Joe Fain, a Republican from Auburn.
With a couple of exceptions, bills introduced during a legislative session must meet certain benchmarks before the Legislature can vote on it.
This year, the first benchmark bills must pass occurs next week on Friday, February 5. By the end of that day, all bills must pass of their respective committees of origin in order to continue through the legislative process.
Most legislative committees hold hearings for their bills where lawmakers get an explanation of whatever bill is under consideration and then listen to testimony from the bill’s supporters and opponents. The bill then has to be brought up for a vote by committee members.
The animal cruelty registry bill was introduced into the Senate Law and Justice Committee on January 13. The problem is that it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. That means the bill has to have a hearing AND be voted out of the committee by midnight next Friday or else it cannot be considered for the rest of the legislative session.
The decision to schedule the bill for a hearing lies with Committee Chair Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), so it’s important for animal lovers to ask him to have a hearing for the SB 6234 next week.
Here’s their contact info:
Senator Mike Padden – (360) 786-7606
Senator Steve O’Ban – (360) 786-7654
If you’d prefer to email them go to the Washington Senate roster and click on their email links.
It wouldn’t hurt to call your own state Senator and ask him/her to support SB 6234. If you don’t know who it is call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and they’ll help you find him/her.
Please don’t wait to call. We don’t have much time left before the deadline.