"Ensuring Animals Have a Voice in TN"
The governor of Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam (R), has just vetoed HB1191/SB1248, a.k.a. the "anti-whistleblower" or "ag gag" bill. This is fantastic news for the animals, as investigations will not be hindered by this detrimental piece of legislation. The governor said he vetoed this bill for several reasons. (To read the governor's press release, please click here.")
Late last week, Robert E. Cooper Jr., our state's Attorney General and Reporter, found that the bill was "constitutionally suspect under the First Amendment" and that it could also "violate a person's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination." (To read the entire opinion, click here.) This opinion influenced the governor's decision, and we couldn't be more pleased. There are so many individuals and organizations to thank for all of their hard work in getting this bad bill defeated: Rep. Gloria Johnson (D) - Knoxville; Rep. Mike Stewart (D) - Nashville; numerous celebrities, including Carrie Underwood; clergy groups; the ACLU; the media; and the Humane Society of the United States. And last but not least: YOU! You made your voice heard!
Although this battle was won, there will be many more to come in the near future. It is apparent that many lawmakers in Tennessee are clearly against stopping animal abuse--as evidenced by their staunch support of the ag gag bill while at the same time defeating an animal fighting bill and also ensuring that a tethering bill went nowhere. We'll be issuing our 2013 Legislative Report and Scorecard shortly so you can see where your lawmaker stands when it comes to animal welfare in our state.
Humane Tennessee PAC urges our supporters to continue the good fight by building positive relationships with lawmakers, getting involved in humane-minded candidates' campaigns, and voicing your concerns when necessary. We are a grassroots organization and cannot do this work without you!
Humane Tennessee PAC
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