Urgent: AZ Legislative Initiatives Affect Animalsby Karyn Zoldan on Mar. 03, 2013, under Animal News
Help! There are some bills in the Arizona Legislature that are aimed at weakening your public initiative process. These measures, if passed, would have a devastating effect on citizen initiatives — the most powerful tool for helping and protecting animals.
Initiatives have been used repeatedly to protect animals when legislators refused to act.
Arizona voters have a long history of supporting animal protection at the ballot box. Thanks to citizen initiatives, in 1994 Arizona voters banned leg-hold traps and poisons on public lands; in 1998 cockfighting was outlawed; and in 2006 voters prohibited the confinement of pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal in factory farms.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Two of the anti-initiative bills will be voted on by the entire Senate on Monday, Mar. 4, at 1:30 PM. Please ask your Senator to oppose SCR 1019 and SB 1263. Be sure to mention that you are a resident of his/her district.
If you volunteered on initiative campaigns, let your Senator know how important initiative rights are to you. Please let the Animal Defense League of Arizona know if you receive a response.
SCR 1019 (Reagan) initiative, referendum; signature allocation. If passed by voters, would require petition signatures to be gathered from at least five different counties, and requires at least 25% of signatures to be collected from counties other than Maricopa and Pima. This would have a devastating impact on campaigns that rely on volunteer signature gatherers.
SB 1263 (Reagan) paid petition circulators; statewide measures; recall. Requires certain paid petition circulators to be registered with the Secretary of State, which must establish a public database of paid circulators. The bill also prescribes penalties and fines for ballot measure committees and paid petition gatherers that provide false information. Holding initiative committees liable for actions of paid circulators could bankrupt small grassroots campaigns, all of which rely on some paid petition gatherers.
The above just doesn’t affect animals but all grassroots initiatives. Why so punitive?
In other AZ legislative news
Animal abusers would lose right to have pets – HB 2073 (Kavanagh)
Animal abusers would lose the right for anyone in their household to have a pet for at least two years under proposed legislation. The Bill would require anyone convicted of animal cruelty to transfer all animals to someone else not living in the same house, or to an animal welfare or rescue group. The measure says an abuse conviction would not preclude someone from engaging in ranching or commercial horse training.
HB 2073 was approved 44-12 and has been sent to the Senate. Paws crossed this Bill passes!