Creating change by raising awareness of causes that ensure a better future.

January 31, 2012

Ohio Passed HB14 Stopping BSL Today!

HB14 takes the Pit Bull Terrier off the "vicious" dog list!

Today around 2:20pm, all hell broke loose across the pit-bull loving social media world. I was glued to my computer, watching the Senate tally the vote on HB14, a bill which would remove pit bull dogs from the definition of “vicious dog” in Ohio, and make many other improvements that would help identify and track dogs that had a history of aggressive behavior. I strained to hear the votes as they came in, and my heart leapt each time I could make out a “yes” over the muffled audio. When all votes were cast, the result was a 27-5 win for dog lovers and enthusiasts across Ohio, and for those who passionately work against breed-specific legislation across the country.

Fireworks went off, hurrays were shouted(and typed) and lots of congratulations were passed all around. I felt very proud of my state. After the goosebumps went away and the tears of joy were wiped, a common question circulated: now what?

The Senate passed a slightly different version of the bill from the one that was handed to them by the House. It included several amendments, some of which were semantic and others which further improved the bill. If you’re a policy nerd like me and would like to read a summary of these amendments, you can find them here.

Since both chambers of the General Assembly need to agree upon a single iteration of the bill, the most likely scenario is that the House will take up the amendments added in the Senate version, and then vote on it again. Once passed, it will move to the Governor for his signature. It will take effect 90 days following the Governor’s signature.

We’re currently warming up for an election year in which all of Ohio’s Representatives and half of its Senators will be up for reelection. It is critical that Ohioans keep the pressure on our legislators so we can get this bill passed before campaign seasons draws them away from the Statehouse and potentially hot-button issues like this one. It is true that given that both houses have already passed versions of HB14, the chances of it becoming the law of the land are very, very good. That said, I’m just not willing to rest my bets on very, very good chances. For the sake of dogs across Ohio, we need to make the passage of HB14 this session an absolute certainty.

To email your state representative, click here.
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