Animal Cruelty Opponent Blasts Legislative Compromise



As Idaho lawmakers negotiated behind closed doors for what they call a compromise on two animal cruelty bills, the woman who has been at the forefront of an effort for stricter cruelty laws said late Monday that she didn't like what she had been hearing.

"This simply dilutes it into almost being worthless," said Virginia Hemingway. "I talked with [Lava Springs Republican Rep. Ken] Andrus and he says that they will be combining both bills together but taking out the torture part."

Hemingway said Andrus was referring to Senate Bill 1303 (which has yet to pass through the House) and House Bill 650 (which hasn't passed through the Senate).

"In order to take out ... objections and reach a compromise, which we feel we have done, and to incorporate the good parts of 650 into 1303, I ask that you support sending 1303 to general orders," Loertscher told his House colleagues.

Hemingway urged her supporters across the state to step up their signature-gathering on petitions, in order to put a more-stringent initiative before Idaho voters on this November's ballot. They need 47,432 signatures, 6 percent of the Idaho-wide vote in 2010.

"We simly cannot allow these worthless, fake felonies be the law in Idaho," wrote Hemingway about the proposed legislative compromise.


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