Category: Government

After Committee Passage, Senate Slows Animal Cruelty Bill

MONTGOMERY — At least one member of the Alabama Senate committee that approved a bill opponents claim rolls back state animal abuse laws said he wants to see the legislation die.

“My goal right now is to not let this come up on the floor,” Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, told Alabama Daily News.

Senate Bill 196 says those who file animal abuse complaints that aren’t substantiated as severe cases can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. It also puts responsibility for most abuse investigations on the Alabama Department of Agriculture and allows money raised by nonprofit animal groups to go toward the fees abusers must pay.

A co-sponsor on the bill, Sen. David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, said it was designed to protect farmers, particularly cattle ranchers, from bogus claims of abuse. But opponents say the language isn’t clear enough and could hurt humane shelters and people who breed dogs as pets, for instance. Read more.

Where Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on Major Issues

Alabama voters who choose a Democratic ballot for the March 3 party primaries will see a crowded slate of 14 presidential candidates, but six of those have withdrawn from the race.

The remaining eight active candidates are Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, Democratic candidates selected the following topics as the top five issues in the party’s presidential primary: health care, climate change, gun policy, education and the distribution of wealth and income. Read about their stances.