Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Despite failing to overturn Governor Christie’s conditional veto of Senate Bill 3041 in late May, State Senator Raymond Lesniak is likely to organize additional attempts to overturn the conditional veto at upcoming voting sessions of the New Jersey State Senate. Those voting sessions are scheduled to take place on Monday, June 19; Thursday, June 22; Monday, June 26; and Thursday, June 29. It is important that all New Jersey residents again contact their state senator and respectfully urge them to vote against any proposal to override the Governor’s conditional veto of S.3041.
Click here to go to the AKC online Legislative Action Center, which provides an easy-to-use way to contact your lawmakers with customizable messages sent directly from you.
BILL HISTORY: In January 2016, New Jersey Senate Bill 63 and its companions were introduced. Among many burdensome provisions, the bills originally sought to ban pet stores in New Jersey from selling dogs and cats unless sourced from shelters and rescues. Due to vocal opposition by concerned New Jersey residents, the bills were amended multiple times, including the removal of the retail sales restriction. Through procedural maneuvering, Senate Bill 63 became Senate Bill 3041. The final version of the legislation contained some improvements that AKC requested, but retained its original anti-breeder bias and focused the regulation of breeders and retail sales outlets. S.3041 considered anyone – including breeders – who sell more than 10 cats or dogs in a year to be “pet dealers.”
On May 1, 2017, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed Senate Bill 3041, which incorporated all the changes requested by AKC and like-minded organizations, including NAIA and PIJAC.
The legislature can either accept the changes requested in the Governor’s conditional veto, attempt to override it, or refuse to accept the changes and let the bill die. The principal sponsor of S.3041, State Senator Raymond Lesniak, has publicly stated he intends to lead a vote to overturn the Governor’s conditional veto. The first opportunity to override the veto failed on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Additional attempts may be made at upcoming voting sessions of the New Jersey Senate through the remainder of the session.
TALKING POINTS AGAINST OVERRIDE OF CONDITIONAL VETO OF S.3041: The conditional veto of S.3041:
Allows for the 2015 changes to the laws dealing with New Jersey’s Pet Purchase Protection Act, which were supported unanimously by the legislature, to take full effect.
Better protects New Jersey citizens’ access to the pets of their choice.
Provides reasonable amendments to the state’s definition of “pet dealer”, including (in addition to other qualifications) applying to only those located in New Jersey who are required to be licensed by the USDA. This change appropriately reflects public policy designed to focus on and regulate those participating in a typical commercial channel.
Preserves consumer and public health protections for New Jersey pet purchasers.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to provide additional information and calls to action regarding S.3041. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jeffrey Ball with the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs at email@example.com.