Animal Law Bills
ANIMAL LAW BILL TRACKER:
For those who are not familiar with reading locator entries, learning some of the codes and what they mean is helpful to understanding what's happening with bills before the legislature. The codes that are relevant for the locator below include the following:
1. Bill Number: All bills are numbered. The bill will have any of the following designations - HB, HJM, HJR, HM, SB, SJM, SJR or SM. H or S indicates the chamber of origin, House or Senate, and that depends on whether the sponsor of the bill is a Representative (House) or a Senator. The bills are numbered consecutively as they are introduced. You can see the actual bill by clicking on the bill number. The other initials mean:
B = bill. A bill must be passed by both chambers and signed by the Governor to become effective. In some cases it becomes law automatically if the Governor takes no action for several days.
J = joint. Joint memorials or resolutions must be passed by both chambers (but not the Governor).
M = memorial. Memorials do not contain substantive law. Memorials are used to send messages to State agencies or Congress or to set up task force-type groups and studies.
R = resolution. Resolutions are often used to propose state constitutional amendments.
2. Title - this is a short title indicating the subject matter of the bill.
3. Sponsor - the legislator who is the bill's sponsor. In some cases two legislators may co-sponsor a bill and both are named. You can learn more about the sponsor by clicking on the name.
4. Last Update - the last time the IT people at the Legislature updated the information for this bill. It will generally be updated the night that action took place. For example, a bill introduced during a floor session on Wednesday, will show up in the locator late Wednesday night or early Thursday. Committee actions are reflected 2 or more days after the actual committee hearing because the committee's action needs to be reported on the floor and accepted by the chamber's member, generally the day following the committee hearing, and then shows up in the locator the following day. Occasionally it takes longer if amendments are being drafted for the bill or other action causing delay.
5. Action: these codes tell us the names of the committee to which a bill is assigned and then the action that those committees took. This list of abbreviations for the committees and actions is quite helpful. The numbers in brackets indicate the date on which the action was taken. Actions are separated by hyphens. Committees can give a Do Pass (DP) to bills, or amend the bill, or even substitute a bill of its own creation. In the case of substitutes, the entry will indicate that the original bill was given a DNP (do not pass) and then the substitute was given a Do Pass. That type of entry looks like this one from HB 187: HBIC  DNP - CS/DP HBIC. Committee substitutes are used when the committee amends a bill extensively or is merging two or more bills on a subject into one bill.
6. Location: Indicates the current location of the bill, either a committee where it is awaiting hearing or the Floor where it is awaiting debate.
This example may help you get started. Let's look at "HB 63" from the locator list of House Animal Bills.
Reading from left to right, the line provides the following information:
1. The bill is House Bill 63.
2. Its title is "No Breed-Specific Local Gov't Dog Regulations."
3. The sponsor is Yvette Herrell.
4. The last update to this entry was February 15, 2013.
5. The bill was prefiled before the Legislature started this session (HPREF), on day 2 it was assigned to the HHGIC (House Health, Government and Indian Affairs Committee) and HJC (House Judiciary Committee). On day 12 the HHGIC gave the bill a Do Pass (DP), meaning it can move to the next committee.
6. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the HJC on February 13, 2013.
Finally, the Legislature's website has a FAQs page that has lots of helpful information.
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