Read ADLA Legislative News for latest information and updates.
ADLA’s Legislative Program
Many of Arizona’s legislators are out of touch with the overwhelming majority of voters who support protecting all animals. This disconnect among lawmakers has been an unfortunate trend over the past three decades that ADLA has monitored and worked on legislation affecting animals, including farm animals and wildlife, and citizens’ initiative rights. Each year lawmakers introduce and often pass bills that affect animals. These laws can have a significant impact on large numbers of animals. That is why it is so important for animals to have a voice at the Legislature.
ADLA is a member of the Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona (HCLA)*, an alliance of local animal advocacy organizations that represents the Arizona animal community’s largest effort to date to protect our state’s animals. Although our primary goal is to pass legislation to protect Arizona’s animals, it is often more important to stop bills that would harm animals. Over the past three legislative sessions ADLA and other groups were able to stop legislation that would have removed farm animals from protection under our state animal cruelty laws.
We also work to stop bills to weaken citizens’ initiative rights. Arizona’s public initiative process is the single most important tool for protecting Arizona’s animals. Thanks to grassroots citizens’ ballot measures, Arizona voters banned leghold traps, snares, and poisons on public lands, cockfighting, and the cruel confinement of animals in factory farms. Voters have also rejected legislative referrals to weaken the public initiative process; including a measure that would have required a two-thirds majority vote to pass wildlife-related initiatives, and another referendum that would have given sole authority over wildlife policy to the state Legislature, and could have gutted initiative rights on wildlife issues, nullifying the ban on traps and poisons on public lands.
ADLA and its coalition partner groups are making strides, but there are still too many lawmakers that do not recognize that their constituents care about animals, or that animal issues are important. These legislators are out of touch with Arizona voters, who overwhelmingly support animal protection. According to recent polls, 87% of Arizonans agree that all animals should be protected. Unfortunately the agriculture industry has a disproportionate amount of influence at the political level. Although that influence is declining, it is crucial that legislators hear from their constituents who care about animals. It’s quick and easy to make a call that could make a big difference for animals. Want to help? Here are some useful tips.
Get to Know Your Arizona Legislators!
If you don’t personally know your Arizona legislators, now is the perfect time to make contact with your two state representatives and senator. Contact information for legislators is here. The 2018 legislative session begins on January 9th – so please call, send an email or letter. Before you make contact
, check their member page to see if they have a bio posted. You may find out that they went to the same school, grew up in the same hometown, or have some other item in common with you that will help you make a connection.
When you contact them:
*Thank them for serving your district;
*Let them know you are a voter in their district and you care deeply about animal protection.
*Let them know you will be following-up with them during the session, and ask what the best way is to stay in touch (email, phone call, message to assistant or something else).
*Let them know that you will be happy to be a resource for them if they have questions. Then ADLA and other experts in the animal community can be a resource for you!
Contact Board member and Legislative Coordinator Karen Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on legislation. Sign up here to receive updates on bills and other legislative issues. Please let us know if you’d be interested in a webinar on basic legislative training and an update on ADLA’s legislative work.
*The Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona is comprised of the following groups: Animal Defense League of Arizona, Arizona Humane Society, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, and Humane Voters of Arizona.