Illinois HB 1080: A Letter to the Editor

By Editor
In Breed-Specific Legislation
Mar 7th, 2011
0 Comments
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March 18, 2011 update: According to HB 1080’s status page, HB 1080 has been kicked back down to the Rules Committee where its sponsor is most likely hoping for an assignment to a more amenable committee.  We hope HB 1080 dies a well-deserved, dishonorable death in the Rules Committee because the bill and its sponsor stand for low-ball politics.

Please write the Rules Committee and politely ask them not to give in to Rep. Bradley’s attempt at an end-around of the democratic process.  And yes, merely changing one word in a so-called “amendment” in order to get HB 1080 out of the Agriculture Committee where it didn’t stand a chance, and back to the Rules Committee where it is hoped that the bill will get an assignment to a committee that will pass it on to the House floor is an end-around of the democratic process.  So is cancelling meeting after meeting where the bill is scheduled to be heard in committee in hopes of waiting out your opposition.

March 11 update: HB 1080 is now scheduled to be heard March 15, 2011, in the Agriculture & Conservation Committee:

Agriculture & Conservation Committee Hearing
Mar 15, 2011, 1:00 p.m.
Stratton Building, Room 413

Springfield, IL

A couple of years ago when Illinois was considering breed-specific legislation (BSL) at the state level, week after week the meetings where the BSL was to be heard kept getting cancelled just like what is happening now with HB 1080. They were waiting everyone out because they knew most people couldn’t keep making the trip hundreds of miles from all over the state to committee meetings that kept getting cancelled.  It was a subversion of the democratic process, just like what is happening now with HB 1080.

In this case, it looks like Bradley knows he clearly has no support for HB 1080 in the Agriculture Committee and so he has added some nonsense amendment (the “amendment” simply strikes out the word “the” and replaces it in some text about rabies vaccines) to the bill to try to kick it back to the Rules Committee hoping he gets a better committee assignment than Agriculture.  I’m guessing the “amendment” is also why his office is misleading people telling them that HB 1080 doesn’t have a committee assignment yet when you call.  Bradley is probably well aware that he has no support for the bill in the Ag Committee, but neither that, nor the fact that a majority of Illinoisans don’t want HB 1080 to pass, seems to be a deterrent for him. Usually that means there’s some special interest backing the bill from the shadows and that the bought-off “representative”  has to earn his payola, er I mean, his “campaign contribution,” and pull out all the political dirty tricks to try to get the bill through.

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From The Journal-News:

Dear Editor:

Rep. John Bradley introduced House Bill 1080 to the Illinois General Assembly this past month. The bill, if passed, will allow amendments to the Illinois Animal Control Act so municipalities will be allowed to ban so-called “vicious” breeds from their towns.

This bill takes the judgment on the personality and behaviour of a dog out of the hands of the pet owner and places it into the hands of persons afraid of a dog based on its breed. If the Illinois house passes this bill, it will mean death to hundreds if not thousands of good dogs in the state. 

As Animal Control Warden of Montgomery County and a member of PAWS CARE, I can tell you how hard it is to find homes for pit bulls or pit mix dogs because of the undeserved reputation they have. No-kill rescues are full of these breeds and also find it hard to place them.

In the 14 months I have held my position, I have not had one pit bull I would be afraid to bring into my home…

Should this bill pass, Rottweilers, dobermans, German shepherds and more may automatically be deemed undesirable if a town board feels like doing so. Some people won’t agree with me, but banning specific breeds because of their name or supposedly bad reputation seems akin to banning certain ethnicities from living within city limits because of history. You cannot judge the actions of an entire breed on the basis of a few bad dogs who were taught to fight by humans.

Please contact Rep. Wayne Rosenthal at his Litchfield or Springfield office immediately to urge him to vote against House bill 1080. You may fax his local office at 324-5201 or call his Springfield office at 782-8071.

Nancy Richardson

Taylor Springs

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