ANNAPOLIS (August 9, 2010) — The Humane Society Legislative Fund and Maryland Votes for Animals today announced the results of a scorecard that rates Maryland’s state lawmakers for the 2007-2010 legislative sessions. The Maryland Humane Scorecard, which will be officially released at a kick-off party in Annapolis this evening, provides a snapshot of state legislators’ votes and committee action on animal protection bills, and charts the progress on animal protection issues in Maryland during the past four years.
The scorecard highlights include the following:
Of the 188 members of the Maryland legislature scored, 40 received perfect 100 percent scores--indicating support for all scored bills (six members of the Senate and 34 members of the House).
During the last four legislative sessions, new laws have been enacted to protect the diamondback terrapin, to strengthen penalties for attending animal fights, to ensure shelters have the drugs needed to euthanize animals humanely, and allow for the creation of pet trusts. In addition to these new laws, Maryland lawmakers were scored for their actions on a wide range of legislation, including bills to prevent the continuous chaining of dogs, require labeling of garments containing animal fur, and stop the use of cruel and inhumane traps to kill wildlife.
Eight members were recognized with a score of 100+ percent, reflecting their support for all bills scored, as well as extra credit for their primary leadership on at least one of the scored bills. These members will receive awards at the scorecard kick-off party, and include: Sens. Catherine Pugh, D-Baltimore City; Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery County; and Norman Stone, D-Baltimore County; and Delegates Jon Cardin, D-Baltimore County; Virginia Clagett, D-Anne Arundel County; Tom Hucker, D-Montgomery County; Wade Kach, R-Baltimore and Carroll Counties; and James Malone, D-Baltimore and Howard Counties.
Across both houses, 117 of the 188 members received scores of at least 75 percent; only 12 legislators scored less than 50 percent.
“The Maryland 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 the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Maryland citizens who care about animal protection can use this tool to find out if their elected lawmakers are representing their views in Annapolis, and help advance the work in the state capitol in coming years to protect pets, wildlife, and farm animals from cruelty and abuse.”
“The single most important thing any citizen of Maryland can do to help animals is to use the power of their vote to help elect humane legislators to office,” said Carolyn Kilborn, chair and founder of Maryland Votes for Animals. “We are committed to alleviating animal suffering and neglect through political organizing and this Maryland Humane Scorecard will be an invaluable tool.”
To view the full scorecard, click here. The link will be working starting at 8p eastern as results are unveiled at the event.
Media contacts: HSLF: Kristen Eastman: 301-721-6440, email@example.com
MVFA: Valerie Pringle: 410-268-7372
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 www.hslf.org.
Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) is political action committee working to create an ever-growing voting bloc of animal advocates who will elect representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation, and to hold politicians accountable to their constituents.