2015 Legislative Activity
Proposal to Tax Veterinary Services
The veterinary services tax proposal was included as part of the legislature’s proposed budget (HB7061). It was the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees’ revenue proposal to help balance the budget within in the next two years. If adopted, a 6% sales tax would have been applied to the cost of all veterinary services.
CHS came out in strong opposition to the sales tax and participated in a grassroots effort with other animal advocacy organizations opposing the tax as part of the state’s revenue package. CHS supporters and animal welfare advocates contacted their legislators and the Governor’s Office and asked that they reconsider this tax because it would have become a large disincentive for the delivery of healthcare services for sick animals.
The budget was being considered by leaders in the House and Senate and it appeared that the grassroots efforts opposing the tax were having a positive effect. The last week of the legislative session arrived and the final revenue package considered by the legislature was without the sales tax on medical care for animals.
CHS is grateful to all those who made their opposition to the tax known to the legislature and Governor which ultimately led to eliminating the tax from the final budget.
SB 361: An Act Increasing the Maximum Penalty for Persons Convicted of Malicious and Intentional Animal Cruelty
This legislation was filed as a proposed bill by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Rep. Diana Urban (D-North Stonington). It proposed increasing the penalty for maliciously killing a companion animal to be no more than seven years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 and having it become a Class C Felony. CHS was in strong support of this legislation and spoke to members of the Environment Committee in support of this bill.
SB 352: An Act to Continue the Task Force on the Humane Treatment of Animals in Municipal Shelters for an Additional Year
This taskforce was formed during the 2014 session and provides an opportunity, on a monthly basis, to examine, amongst other things, ways to establish a standard of care for municipal animal shelters in Connecticut.
CHS is proud to have been one of the leading organizations to urge for its passage during the 2014 session and in addition, urged the legislature in 2015 to continue the work of the task force. The initiative was championed by Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and First Selectman of North Haven and Co-Chair of the task force, Michael Freda. The legislature considered the bill and thanks to the support of the bill’s leaders, it passed during the 2015 legislative session. The task force is set to continue its evaluation of topics on October 7th, November 4th and December 2nd.
Visit this link to learn about the laws passed in 2014.