Crawford pledges not to hear statewide pit bull ban, effectively killing the legislation
|State Rep. Hugh Crawford is stopping the bil|
“The message from me, who’s chairman of the Regulatory Reform Committee, is ‘I’m not going to run the bill,’” said Crawford, the Republican State House Rep. from Novi. “It will just stay in committee. I will not even take testimony on this.”
Crawford has a couple reasons for not taking up the legislation.
“I think it’s a people problem problem, not a dog problem,” he said in a phone interview from the House floor on Tuesday. “It’s totally unnecessary to penalize a breed of dog, or really, a variety of breeds.”
|Contact State Rep. Tim Bledsoe|
The legislation introduced by Grosse Pointe Democrat Tim Bledsoe would ban only the first three, allowing Bull Terriers — the breed best known for appearing in Target commercials and ads — to remain in the state.
Bledsoe’s bill, House Bill 4714, would extend the ban to “a dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the breeds (listed to be banned)” and “a dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any one of the breeds listed.”
If it were passed, it would be illegal to breed or sell a pit bull in the state one year after it takes effect.
Four years after taking effect, it would be illegal to own or possess a non-sterilized pit bull.
Ten years after taking effect, it would be illegal to own or possess a pit bull.
Crawford said another reason he won’t take up the bill is because, “The state has got better things to do than to be the dog police.”
Amen. (Watch my video editorial on this bill)
In terms of what the public response has been since word of the legislation prompted a media firestorm last week, Crawford said, “Oh my gosh, overwhelming.”
“I’m not one to react to polls and responses and to be clear, I made this decision before I received the first email,” he said. “Since then, I have gotten hundreds of emails. I would venture to say that about 98 percent of them are against a pit bull ban for all sorts of reasons.”
Crawford said he also has friends and relatives who own pits or pit mixes.
“They’re fine dogs,” he said of the pit bulls he knows.
Other media reports have said that Bledsoe was planning to meet with Crawford early this week. That hasn’t happened.
“He hasn’t contacted me,” Crawford said. “If he does, sure, I’ll meet with him.”
As for whether the bill could come back in the future, Crawford said he’s learned from being a politician to never say never.
“Sometime down the road for some reason unforeseen to me, somebody might say, ‘Take that bill up,’” Crawford said. “But I’m confident (current) leadership won’t do that. As it stands, I’m not going to take testimony on it.”
As for totally getting rid of the bill now, Oakland Press Political Reporter Charles Crumm said that may not be possible.
“I don’t believe you can withdraw a bill once it has been introduced,” Crumm said. “More likely, it lingers until the end of the two year session when all legislation not acted upon dies when the Legislature adjourns the session. The Latin phrase for that is ‘sine die.’”
The current session will end January 1, 2013.
|Dreaming of a better world where dogs aren't banned because of their breed|