Lawmakers wait for governor to sign re-write Bill for Prop B
Tue, 26 Apr 2011 01:42:53 GMT —
Update: Wednesday April 27th at 10:30 a.m.:
Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation repealing part of a voter-approved dog law in an agreement with lawmakers to consider more changes to breeder regulations.
Nixon signed the legislation Wednesday. It eliminates a cap of 50 breeding dogs and rolls back various requirements on dogs' living conditions. In the changed version, breeders would need to provide appropriate space for dogs based on regulations set by the Department of Agriculture. In addition, operators would pay more for licenses and help finance a program that crack down on unlicensed breeders.
Nixon's administration has also brokered a deal with state-based agriculture and animal welfare groups to make more changes to the ballot measure passed by voters last November. The House could consider that legislation this week. It would give dog breeders more time to comply with expanded housing requirements.
Missouri lawmakers took the Monday off as part of their Easter holiday weekend, but starting Tuesday they'll have a busy week ahead of them.
One of the hottest issues is the rewriting of the puppy-mill law.
At issue is whether the governor will sign a re-write of the voter approved Proposition B,or the puppy mill law.
The house and senate approved the revision which replaces key parts of the bill, like how many dogs breeders can have.
The bill is sitting on Governor Nixon TMs desk, but he is now urging for lawmakers to write another bill; one that pleases more groups.
Nixon brokered the bill with agriculture interests and several state-based animal welfare groups, including the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.
"The Missouri Humane Society, the Pet Breeders Association, the Governor's office, the Department of Agriculture, and the Missouri Farmers' Care Coalition are all on the same page. I think that's just a great group to decide what is best on this issue, Executive Director of MVMA Richard Antweiler said.
Antweiler said the bill Nixon wants, already being the called "the Missouri Solution", would protect dogs, and farmers.
"We will be going after the dog breeders that are the bad apples, and we will be able to do some good for the dogs in the state by increasing enforcement. Also it is allowed the farming community to be assured that this is not going to be something that affects them in the future, Antweiler said.
Antweiler said the compromise bill would give dog breeders more time to comply with the regulations.
Republicans said the governor should first sign their bill, and later work on a compromise.
In a letter to the governor Monday, one lawmaker said it would be a "serious setback" if Nixon vetoes their bill.
Nixon hasn't said one way or the other if he'll sign it.
Tell us what you think. Do you think Governor Nixon should sign the re-write of the voter approved puppy mill law?The Associated Press contributed to this article.