WASHINGTON (April 19, 2010) — The Humane Society Legislative Fund announces that its California State Humane Scorecard for the 2009 state legislative session has been posted at humanescorecard.org. The scorecard provides a snapshot of California state lawmakers’ records on animal welfare policies. Lawmakers are scored on floor votes on bills and amendments addressing such issues as puppy mills, dogfighting, wildlife poaching, tail docking of dairy cows, and marine mammal protection.
"The California State Humane Scorecard provides an easy way for constituents to assess how their lawmakers acted on animal protection issues, and it helps chart the progress of our public policy work on behalf of animals in the state," said Michael Markarian, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. "In 2009, California lawmakers passed bills to crack down on dogfighters and poachers, prohibit the tail docking of cows, and designate a protected marine mammal sanctuary. The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals, and this collection of bills is a measurable step forward for the state of California."
The HSLF tracked eight bills during the session: A.B. 241, to limit the number of breeding dogs confined in large-scale puppy mills; A.B. 242, to increase penalties for spectators at staged dogfighting exhibitions; A.B. 243, which requires judges to prohibit felons convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals for a period of time; A.B. 708, which establishes minimum poaching fines/imprisonment penalties and allows for suspension/revocation of hunting licenses and forfeiture of assets for repeat poachers; A.B. 1122, to ban the sale of animals in parking lots and alongside roads; S.B. 135, which prohibits the painful and unnecessary practice of cutting the tails off dairy cows; S.B. 318, which allows property forfeiture of anyone found guilty of violating dogfighting laws with proceeds going to animal and law enforcement agencies, and S.B. 428, which gives the City of San Diego the right to designate Casa Beach as a marine mammal sanctuary to protect seals and their habitat.
Five of the eight bills (A.B. 242, A.B. 708, S.B. 135, S.B. 318 and S.B. 428) were signed into law in 2009.
Highlights from the 2009 California Humane Scorecard include:
Of the 118 members of the legislature scored, 58 received perfect 100 percent scores--indicating support for all eight scored bills (13 members of the Senate and 45 members of the Assembly).
Five members received more than 100 percent, reflecting their support for all eight bills, as well as primary leadership on at least one of the scored bills. These members are: Assemblymembers Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), and Sens. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) and Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego).
The scorecard notes that a bipartisan group of 24 lawmakers are members of the California Animal Protection Caucus.
Across both houses, 113 of the 118 members supported at least 50 percent of the scored bills and no assemblymember scored less than 50 percent.
Both the Speaker pro Tempore Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and the Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) scored 100 percent.
The California State Humane Scorecard is available online at humanescorecard.org.
Pepper Ballard: 301-258-1417, email@example.com
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org.