With the looming deadline for legislation to clear policy committees in the state Capitol, some of the more noteworthy bills of the two year sesssion are being either tweaked or virtually rewritten.
Two of the bills that are newly modified have been the source of a lot of attention.
First is the hugely debated proposal to require most dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered. The bill, AB 1634 by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), ran aground in 2007 after organized and vocal opposition.
Late last week, Levine all but scrapped the mandatory sterlization plan. The new bill says that a dog impounded at a shelter will be sterilized on the third visit; the first two impoundments of an "intact" pooch will result in monetary fines. For cats, it's spaying or neutering on the second visit to the shelter. AB 1634's only other required sterilization is for a pet that's the subject of a complaint to a local animal control agency.
In other words... if you control your dog or cat, he or she can keep all of his or her parts. So will that mollify the critics?
The group known as PetPAC plans to lobby legislators tomorrow in their continued opposition to AB 1634, now calling it a "three strikes for pets" bill.
[UPDATE Tuesday, 8:32 am -- Note to self: don't write about AB 1634 again. Thanks to all of you who read the posting and then promptly fired off an email to me. Yes, I've read the bill. No, I'm not brain dead. Yes, I understand that this is a controversial bill. No, I'm not brain dead. Seriously though... the sheer number of emails that arrived that used the exact same arguments, and even same language, only reminds me of the 4,210,923 reasons I'll never run for elected office. And again, to the nice lady who loves cats: No, I'm not brain dead. At least not today.]
Meantime, the highly publicized push for a new tax on the adult entertainment industry has been scaled back. After being scaled up, that is.
AB 2914 by Assemblymember Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) proposes a new tax on everything from adult entertainment stores to the XXX movie industry, with the money earmarked for programs to "ameliorate the secondary effects" of the industry on communities.
The original version of the proposal, submitted on April 3, called for an 8% tax on stores that specialize in "adult materials" and adult entertainment clubs. Then on May 8, Calderon upped it to a 25% tax and added in businesses that "produce" adult movies.
Now, in amendements filed last Thursday, Calderon has gone back down to an 8.3% tax on most of these businesses.
No word yet on whether that eased the adult entertainment industry's mind... though it's doubtful that it has.