California moved one step closer to enacting a ban on bear and bobcat hunting with hounds yesterday as Senate Bill 1221 was passed by the state’s Assembly.
The bill, which was introduced by State Senator Ted Lieu (D- Torrance) in April, was originally held in the Appropriations Committee on suspense. It was amended and passed prior to the committee deadline last week. (Bills are placed on “suspense” when the fiscal impact to the state is significant enough to warrant further consideration.) Despite estimates that place the price tag at nearly $1 million annually, the measure garnered enough support and passed the full Assembly by a vote of 44 to 29, with seven members not voting.
“California Assembly members showed their true colors today,” said Evan Heusinkveld USSA’s Director of State Services. “Despite the clear and compelling fiscal impact these politicians chose revenge politics over sound wildlife management. This bill is bad for Californians and bad for our wildlife.”
SB 1221 was introduced after anti-hunting organizations moved to have California Fish and Game President Dan Richards thrown off the commission for legally hunting mountain lions in Idaho. “After their failed attempt to remove Mr. Richards, these groups’ convinced anti-hunting legislators to exact revenge on sportsmen,” said Heusinkveld.
Because the bill was amended in the Assembly, it must now return to the Senate for a final vote – called concurrence – before heading to the governor’s desk. “California sportsmen and women nearly defeated this bill in May when it passed the Senate by a two vote margin. Now we have another shot, but we must act quickly,” said Heusinkveld.
Take Action! The California Senate could vote on SB 1221 at any time. It’s imperative that California sportsmen speak out in opposition. Call your State Senators today and ask them to vote NO on SB 1221. To find your senator, go to the USSA Legislative Action Center.