2016 Bills Passed into Law
HB 5147: AN ACT INCREASING THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES OF MALICIOUS AND INTENTIONAL ANIMAL CRUELTY
The Connecticut Humane Society’s Legislative Committee decided to make a past proposal its top legislative priority for 2016: to increase the subsequent penalties for those who maliciously kill or harm an animal. These offenses are often called “bridge crimes” since there could be a pattern of these crimes leading to violent human crimes. This has been a strong priority for CHS to accomplish for a number of years. This bill was supported by animal welfare organizations in the state and was co-sponsored by about 60 state legislators!
After a short session packed with a ton of activity we are happy to report that this initiative received unanimous approval at every stage of consideration and was signed by the Governor on June 1st. CHS was privileged to participate in a ceremonial bill signing by Governor Malloy and deeply appreciate his work and the work of the legislature in making this important piece of legislature the law.
SIGNED INTO LAW: June 1, 2016
Click here for a comprehensive summary of HB 5147.
HB 5344: AN ACT CONCERNING SUPPORT FOR ANIMALS THAT ARE NEGLECTED OR TREATED CRUELLY
Another important priority that passed this year after being worked on for a number of years is a proposal that allows judges to appoint legal volunteers (both students and attorneys) to advocate for the interests of justice in certain proceedings involving animals. In these cases the court may appoint a separate advocate in cases of prosecution for animal cruelty, court proceedings stemming from an animal control officer's seizure of a cruelly treated or neglected animal, and criminal cases involving the welfare or custody of cats or dogs.
This legislation has been considered heavily by the legislature over the course of the past few years and this year CHS participated in an active coalition that helped pass the measure and also had a ceremonial bill signing by the Governor.
SIGNED INTO LAW: May 26, 2016
Click here for a comprehensive summary of HB 5344.
Visit this link to see the legislative activity supported by CHS in 2015.