Eliminating Plan A from the spay/neuter program
SB 137 had previously been the bill to create an animal friendly license plate to help fund the state’s spay/neuter program.  Senator Roberge recognized that the license plate initiative needed more work and amended the bill on the floor of the senate to delete the license plate initiative.  Now, the new SB 137 eliminates Plan A from the state spay/neuter program thereby providing additional funding for Plan B.  Plan A allows the animal shelters to provide a voucher to reduce the cost of spaying/neutering a dog/cat that is adopted at a shelter.  There are no income criteria for being able to qualify for a Plan A voucher.  SB 137 retains Plan B that provides dog or cat spay/neutering for a nominal co-pay for persons that participate in certain low-income programs. STATUS: The House voted to pass the bill as amended by the Senate. The bill is awaiting approval by the Governor (it may take about 2 weeks to get to his desk for consideration).

Evidence of Transfer
HB 148: Relative to health certificates as evidence of the transfer of dog, cat or ferret. Requiring an annual vet statement for exemption from rabies vaccination. Status: Passed House with amendment. Senate Wildlife Committee recommended the bill for passage. Senate votes on 5/20.
DOGS Concerns: The definition of “transfer” needed to be refined in the Senate.  DOGS submitted an amendment at the Senate public hearing. The State Veterinarian agreed with DOGS’ amendments. The Senate Wildlife Committee chose not to incorporate DOGS’ amendment into the bill. DOGS will be working with the State Vet to introduce a bill next session that incorporates the clarifying language into the transfer requirements.

Other Bills that are still Active

HB 247: Changes the law pertaining to complaints filed due to the abuse of domestic animals.  Instead of the state veterinarian being the first contact, the complaint shall be initially filed with the local law enforcement agency, animal control officer, state police, or sheriff, with jurisdiction over where the animal is kept.  At the request of the contacted law enforcement agency, the state veterinarian shall assist in a secondary capacity in enforcing the provisions of law and investigating said complaints. Status: Passed the House with amendment. Senate Public Affairs Committee recommends passage. Senate votes on 5/20.

HB 345: Allowing physical therapists to practice on animals.  Status: Passed the House and Senate. Awaiting approval by the Govenor.

SB 13: Declaring the Chinook the state dog. Status: Passed Senate. Passed the Senate and the House. Awaiting the Governor’s approval.

SB 19: Relative to governmental immunity from liability lawsuits for municipal dog parks. Status: Passed Senate. House Judiciary Committee is recommending that the bill be killed. Scheduled for House vote on 5/20.

SB132 establishes a commission to develop implementation plans for merging the department of cultural resources, the department of agriculture, markets and food, the department of fish and game, the division of parks and recreation, and the division of forests and lands into a newly established department of natural and cultural resources; and transfers all law enforcement functions of those departments to the department of safety. Status: House Executive Departments and Administration Committee voted to recommend the bill be “Inexpedient to Legislate” (killed).  The House will vote on this recommendation on 5/20.

SB 156: Relative to the commission to study the creation of an animal care worker classification.  Status: Passed the Senate. House passed the amendment. Awaiting whether Senate concurs with amendment.

SB 203: Provides liability immunity for railroads who own, lease occupy or maintain a right of way for designated recreational use. Status: Passed the Senate with  amendment. Awaiting a recommendation in House Resources Committee.

May 15th Legislative Update