UPDATE - SB 250 passed the California Senate today by ONE vote. Now it goes to the Assembly, where it will be more difficult to defeat.
The California State Senate Majority Leader, Dean Florez (D - 16th District) has done an end run in his bid to score points with the Humane Society of the United States. Due to the adverse fiscal impacts of SB 250, a 'one strike' law that requires the spaying or neutering of any dog whose owner is in violation of dog laws (except barking), Florez has shifted the enforcement costs to local municipalities - an end run that lets him claim that it has no impact on the state budget.
The Hayden Act already requires the state to re-imburse local municipalities for the costs of enforcing mandatory state animal control activities. This costs the state $25 million a year. But wait -- the state has already said that they will not be able to pay these claims for at least four years. Now Florez wants to add to that by end running the Local Government Committee and bring SB 250 to the Senate floor without a proper hearing before that committee.
at left, Senator Dean Florez poses with Jennifer Fearing, HSUS lobbyist
Flores has moved to the left on the Animal Rights issues. From his own press release in May of this year... "Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and one of the chief strategists behind last year's Prop. 2, said this (the realignment of the Senate Ag Committee when Florez assumed the chairmanship) was a big part of the reason for the revamping of the committee. She and her boss, HSUS president Wayne Pacelle, sat down with Florez in December to talk strategy." Damn, I thought I recosgnized the langauge in SB 250 - pure Wayne Pacelle.
Earlier this month - on Wednesday May 19th - Senator Florez appeared with officials of the Humane Society of the United States to debut a new film targeting the food industry. Florez pushed through two other bills - to prevent tail docking of dairy cattle and to force egg farmers to provide larger cages, winning the praise of HSUS chief executive Wayne Pacelle, who said,"It took 100 years to get farm animal legislation moving, but we got two bills within 10 minutes," They must be the best of friends by now.
Hey, DEAN we know you are preparing a run for the Lt. Governorship in 2010, and that a partner like HSUS - with a $120 million annual budget to spend on pushing their animal rights agenda - would be a fine partner for you. My question is... what is it going to cost US, the citizens of California?