Asking Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath to introduce Ferret Legalization Legislation
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When we approached the Encinitas city council the second time on Valentine’s Day 2018 then city councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath took us to task (in a polite way.)
I explained that we are approaching the city council because we don’t have access to legislators. Governor Jerry Brown’s office let it be known that his office opposed ferret legalization and would make sure, in the words of then-Assemblyman Rocky Chavez’s office:
"The reason this bill has not gone forward in years past is Governor Brown has said he would VETO the bill upon arrival to his desk. Apparently, members in the past sessions have approached the subject and received the same line from the Governor."
Tasha pointed out that if Jerry Brown, and the Sierra Club oppose ferret legalization, there must be a reason. She promised to do her research and get back to us.
About four months later she did. She called to say that her expert agrees with our position; there is no reason for ferrets to be illegal. She invited us back to the November 28th, 2018 Encinitas city council meeting where she would support our efforts for a ferret legalization proclamation from the Encinitas city council. And she did.
On November 6th Tasha Boerner Horvath was elected to the California Assembly for the 76th District. Someone who told us there is No reason for ferrets to be illegal and supported the effort while on the Encinitas city council is now in the Assembly. What a great opportunity to have a legislative sponsor.
But Tasha told me that her colleagues at the State Capitol are telling her there aren’t enough votes in the legislature. That is a bizarre statement. Here is the last legislation:
SB-89 Wild animals: domestic ferrets. (2003-2004)
Senate Floor: 26 votes yes, 2 votes no and 11 not voting
Assembly Floor: 64 votes yes, 2 votes no and 4 not voting
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill on the last possible day.
Tasha told me her colleagues said they recommend we continue to work on the local level. Which makes no sense since this is a statewide issue.
The Fish and Game Commission said they won’t legalize ferrets for fear of being sued by “the environmentalists" and recommend we find a legislator.
Now legislators are saying they won't introduce a ferret legalization bill because there aren’t enough votes and urge us to continue to work on the local level.
Cities can only give us moral support, they can’t change a state law.
We know the Sierra Club opposes ferret legalization. They don’t know why they oppose us and they refuse to examine the issue – but they are a powerful political force.
Legislators don’t want to vote against ferret legalization, they know they’ll get a lot of negative feed back.
So the easiest way is for them to kick it down the road. Don’t allow ferret legalization to be introduced so they won’t have to face either going against the Sierra Club or breaking ferret owner’s hearts.
Tasha was elected as because she would be independent of special interests. From her website:
INCREASE TRANSPARENCY AND REDUCE THE INFLUENCE OF BIG MONEY IN POLITICS
A strong democracy is based on transparency and accountability. As a Councilmember, I helped increase transparency, inclusion and the voice of our community into our deliberative processes. In the State Assembly, I will continue this tradition to ensure that every step is as transparent as possible and that Sacramento is held accountable to the voice of the people in our district.
We are asking Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath to do the right thing and give California ferret owners the chance to explain to the Legislature why ferrets should be legal in California as they are from Nome to Patagonia.
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