If you have been following the General Assembly this year with the interest of animals in mind, you may recall that we have devoted a lot of time to explaining our opposition to HB 340. The bill originally introduced was a very bad piece of legislation that would have undone the private animal shelter definition we fought so hard to make law in 2015. However, things change at a rapid pace in the General Assembly, and late last week a compromise was reached. Proponents of the bill agreed at last to a substitute amendment that we had offered many weeks ago, and as a result we no longer oppose HB 340. The substitute was accepted in the Senate today and passed unanimously.
The focus is now on defeating HB 1270, which requires the State Veterinarian to create an animal care advisory committee. We have communicated to Senators our strong opposition as VDACS already has the authority to create such an advisory panel. Today's floor vote reflects that the majority of Senators agree with us that this bill is unnecessary. HB1270 was defeated 9-30. However, shortly after the floor vote, Senator Frank Wagner moved to have the bill reconsidered and passed by for the day, which means the bill is still in play. Another vote will be taken as soon as tomorrow.
Whether your Senator voted yea or nay, it is urgent that you contact his or her office before the bill is voted on for a second time. Find out who represents you in the Senate by visiting whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov.
- The passage of HB 1270 will be used by PETA to stall the enforcement of the private animal shelter purpose to find permanent adoptive homes for animals.
- VDACS already has authority to create an advisory panel, which it did from 2012-2014. That committee was ultimately ineffective due to the refusal of proponents of HB 1270 to agree to progressive policies and programming. Since the stakeholders are the same today, reaching consensus remains unlikely.
- A better approach would be for the State Veterinarian to collect stakeholder input seperately and have VDACS compile feedback.
No votes on Feb. 23, 2016
The Senators listed below voted no today. Please thank your Senator and encourage him or her to maintain opposition to HB 1270 when it returns to the floor.
|Name||Email address||Phone number|
|Senator Kenneth Alexander (D-5th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7505|
|Senator George Barker (D-39th)||email@example.com||804-698-7539|
|Senator Richard Black (R-13th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7513|
|Senator Bill Carrico (R-40th)||email@example.com||804-698-7540|
|Senator Amanda Chase (R-11th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7511|
|Senator John Cosgrove (R-14th)||email@example.com||804-698-7514|
|Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7525|
|Senator Bill DeSteph (R-8th)||email@example.com||804-698-7508|
|Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7512|
|Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30th)||email@example.com||804-698-7530|
|Senator John Edwards (D-21st)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7521|
|Senator Barbara Favola (D-31st)||email@example.com||804-698-7531|
|Senator Tom Garrett (R-22nd)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7522|
|Senator Janet Howell (D-32nd)||email@example.com||804-698-7532|
|Senator Lynwood Lewis (D-6th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7506|
|Senator Louise Lucas (D-18th)||email@example.com||804-698-7518|
|Senator Dave Marsden (D-37th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7537|
|Senator Ryan McDougle (R-4th)||email@example.com||804-698-7504|
|Senator Donald McEachin (D-9th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7509|
|Senator Jeremy McPike (D-29th)||email@example.com||804-698-7529|
|Senator John Miller (D-1st)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7501|
|Senator Chap Petersen (D-34th)||email@example.com||804-698-7534|
|Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7517|
|Senator Richard Saslaw (D-35th)||email@example.com||804-698-7535|
|Senator Bill Stanley (R-20th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7520|
|Senator Glen Sturtevant (R-10th)||email@example.com||804-698-7510|
|Senator Scott Surovell (D-36th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7536|
|Senator Jill Vogel (R-27th)||email@example.com||804-698-7527|
|Senator Frank Wagner (R-7th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7507|
|Senator Jennifer Wexton (R-33rd)||email@example.com||804-698-7533|
Sample message to Senators who voted NO
Subject: Please continue to oppose HB 1270
Thank you for your service in the Virginia General Assembly. I am a constituent of your district, living at [address], and I am writing to thank you for voting no today on HB 1270. As I understand that the bill is to be reconsidered, I respectfully ask that you maintain your opposition to HB 1270.
Yes votes on Feb. 23, 2016
The Senators listed below voted yes today. Please respectfully ask any Senator who voted for HB 1270 to reconsider and to vote no when this bill is voted on again.
|Name||Email address||Phone number|
|Senator Ben Chafin (R-38th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7538|
|Senator Rosalyn Dance (D-16th)||email@example.com||804-698-7516|
|Senator Emmett Hanger, Jr. (R-24th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7524|
|Senator Steve Newman (R-23rd)||email@example.com||804-698-7523|
|Senator Thomas Norment, Jr. (R-3rd)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7503|
|Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26th)||email@example.com||804-698-7526|
|Senator Frank Ruff, Jr. (R-15th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7515|
|Senator Richard Stuart (R-28th)||email@example.com||804-698-7528|
|Senator David Suetterlein (R-19th)||firstname.lastname@example.org||804-698-7519|
Sample message to Senators who voted YES
Subject: Please reconsider your vote on HB 1270
As a constituent living in your district at [address], I am grateful for your service in the General Assembly and write to you today in regard to your vote on HB 1270. I respectfully ask that you reconsider and urge you to oppose this bill when it returns to the Senate floor for a second vote.
Tabitha Treloar is the director of communications for the Richmond SPCA. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.