Update 12/18/18: Both bills HB 5916 and HB 5917 have passed the Michigan House and Senate. The Michigan Humane Society has sent Governor Rick Snyder a formal letter urging him to veto both bills. You can read the letter HERE.

Original article below.

Michigan’s legislature runs in two-year sessions. The current 2017-18 session will end on December 31, 2018, and all bills not passed by the end of that day will die. The last day that the House and Senate are scheduled to meet this year is December 20, so the next two weeks will be very active legislatively.

The next two weeks will be made even more interesting because, since the election, Michigan’s legislature has been in a “lame duck” session. Legislators who will not be returning for the subsequent legislative session are nicknamed “lame ducks” after a term coined in the financial world. In the London Stock Market in the 1700s, the term was used to refer to an investor who was unable to pay his debts and had to “waddle out of the alley like a “lame duck.”

Lame duck legislators not returning for Michigan’s 2019-20 legislative term may be less concerned about the will and the interests of voters in deciding how they will vote on various bills. For example, you may recall that we have been fighting HB 5916 and 5917 with your help. These bills would, among other things, take away local government control over pet shops. While a number of legislators were unwilling to vote against local control before the election, the House recently voted (by a narrow margin) to approve the bills and send them to the Senate. We will continue to fight the bills with your help (click here to contact your Senator and ask him/her to vote no on HB 5916 and 5917).

While we are hoping that HB 5916 and HB 5917 will not pass, we are fighting hard to get SB 416 passed before the end of this session. SB 416 passed the Senate in a unanimous 36-0 vote, and the House Law and Justice Committee voted unanimously to send it to the House floor, where it currently awaits second reading. We believe that SB 416 makes important changes to Michigan’s animal fighting statute that will result in safer communities and more humane treatment of the animals involved in animal fighting cases. First, SB 416 includes an improved forfeiture/bond process for animals seized in connection with animal fighting; and second, SB 416 would allow the possible adoption of former fighting animals and their progeny if certain conditions are met.

If you are interested in learning more and helping with legislative issues, please join the Michigan Humane Society’s Legislative Action Network (if you haven’t already) and help advocate for legislation to address animal welfare issues in Michigan. You will receive updates and alerts letting you know when and how you can take action. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of animals throughout Michigan.

Photo credit: it’s me neosiam, Pexels