May 4, 2005 – Wednesday marked another chapter in the continuing saga of the Animal Cruelty bill. It failed to get an override, but it is scheduled to be re-introduced Thursday by its sponsor Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg.
Donastorg moved for an override of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's veto of the bill Wednesday afternoon in the first of a two-day full Senate session. It failed on an 8-7 vote along majority/minority lines. An override requires 10 votes.
Though many other items were on Wednesday's agenda, most of the lawmakers took time to comment on the Animal bill.
Some of the minority senators indicated they favored proposed legislation sent down Tuesday by Turnbull, which some declare waters down Donastorg's original legislation. Sen. Louis Hill said he would support the original bill, "with minor adjustments." He said, "I look forward to supporting a bill the governor will enforce, a compromise bill." (See "Turnbull Submits Revised Animal Cruelty Bill").
And a compromise bill is what Donastorg said he will introduce Thursday. At the end of Wednesday's session, Donastorg announced he would re-introduce the bill and an amendment Thursday. He said, "We have to re-shape the minds of children and adults about how to treat animals. We will re-visit the issue." Addressing the minority senators, he said, "Most of you have given me a commitment."
After the session Hill told Joe Elmore, Humane Society of St. Thomas executive director, and Randolph Knight, businessman, philanthropist and capital campaign director for the soon-to-be started Animal Care Campus, they "could be certain of 15 votes tomorrow."
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