Significant Senate changes to a bill originally designed to create a felony crime of animal cruelty were rejected Monday by representatives.
Members of the House on Monday voted not to adopt the Senate changes to HB 235 and instead to create a “joint conference committee” to meet with senators to address the differences in the two versions of the bill.
As approved by the House, the bill would have made repeated violations of animal cruelty laws a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. The Senate removed all language pertaining to the felony crime, leaving intact only a section that would let judges bar people from having contact with pets if they are convicted of a domestic abuse charge.
The three-member joint conference committees from both the House and Senate will be charged with reaching a compromise on the bill. If no compromise can be reached, the bill will die.