Senate Democratic Wrap-up for the Week of May 31, 2015

 

The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 78, which would protect animals from kennel owners and their family members who have an animal cruelty record.

Under this legislation, applicants applying for a kennel license would have to prove that family members whom have had their kennel license revoked within the last 10 years would have no interaction with the animals. The legislation aims to raise awareness and take preventative action to stop animal cruelty.

This bill was previously introduced as Senate Bill 1107 in the 2013-2014 Session. Senate Bill 78 now goes to the House Rural and Agricultural Affairs Committee.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 294, the so-called “Cordelia’s Law,” which would add protection for horses and additional protections for service dogs.

The bill places horses under the same cruelty category as cats and dogs; and adds starvation to the list of abuses. It was named after a starving 22-year-old mare found in a Bedford County junkyard.

The legislation also toughens penalties against those who deliberately harm service dogs. In addition to the cruelty penalties, those who torture a guide dog for the blind, a hearing dog for a deaf person, or a service animal; they are required to pay the veterinary costs for treating the dog or the cost of obtaining and training a replacement dog.

In addition, the measure calls for standards and procedures to determine violations and the necessary probable cause to support seizure of animals.

The bill now goes to the House Judiciary.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 305, which would allow pharmacists to administer immunizations shots to children at least 7-years-old, with parent consent.

The legislation would also allow pharmacy interns to administer flu shots if supervised by an authorized professional.

Currently pharmacists are allowed to administer shots to individuals 18 or older. However, a large percentage of adults already get their flu shot at a pharmacy. The bill aims to encourage and accommodate more child immunizations.

The bill now goes to the House Health Committee.

 

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The Senate voted 45 to 4 in favor of Senate Bill 373, which would make tethering a dog to a stationary object illegal unless the dog needs to be temporarily restrained.

Under the bill, the dog would have to be monitored periodically, have a non-choking collar and a tangle-free tether at least 10 feet long — and have access to food, water, shade and shelter. Dogs could be tethered no more than 30 minutes if the temperature is less than 32 or above 90 degrees. Violators would face a summary animal cruelty charge for their first offense.

Second and subsequent offenses would be a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least $200.

Part of a seven-bill animal cruelty package, the measure now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.

 

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In a near party-line vote, the Senate approved Senate Bill 490 with a vote of 32-17. This legislation would require that the governor’s chosen director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) be approved by a majority Senate vote.

Currently, the director of PEMA is appointed by the governor. Republicans claim the bill would improve the agency’s accountability. Democrats countered that the bill unfairly limits the governor’s executive privilege.

The bill now goes to the House.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 594, which would deter animal cruelty by imposing a fine on individuals who abuse pets of estranged significant others.

Proponents claim that domestic violence can often impact more than just the individuals involved. Specifically this legislation aims to prevent cruelty against an animal that belongs to a victim of domestic violence.

Individuals who have a protection-from-abuse order against them who would face a fine ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 for animal cruelty against an estranged person’s pet.

The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 695, which would require lobbyists to submit reports electronically.

Currently lobbyists and lobbying firms are allowed to submit reports by mail; however, this method can often delay the posting of the information to the public.

The bill now goes to the House State Government Committee.

 

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