Getting to know where the candidates for your State Senator and Representative stand on animal issues is important before you vote on November 6. If they are an incumbent check out CVA's Legislative ScoreCard for Animals to see how they voted on animal issues in 2017 and 2018 and if they were active co-sponsors of bills important to CVA. If they are not currently in office or if you want to know more, you could call or email their campaign and ask directly about their views on animal welfare in the State, specifically reducing animal cruelty and providing a more humane environment for all animals. To get you started, we've put together a few sample questions (you may want to ask candidates to please indicate for each statement whether they would Lead, Support, Oppose or remain neutral if the issue were proposed as legislation in Connecticut):
- There’s been a lot of media coverage this year about bear sightings in Connecticut towns. Can you indicate how you would vote on a measure to allow bear hunting in CT, even if the hunt is restricted to only a certain geographic area of the State?
- In 2013 a law was passed that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting breed specific ordinances. Unfortunately, Connecticut's insurance industry continues to deny homeowner and renters coverage based on specific dog breeds. Do you believe insurance companies should deny coverage based on the breed of dog owned by the prospective insurer?
- In 2016, an initiative was proposed but later withdrawn, that would apply a 5% tax on all veterinary services. Currently only 4 States in the country tax veterinary services. Do you think this is a proposal worth reconsidering as one way to reduce the State’s budget deficit?
- There is a well established link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Although the courts are taking animal cruelty more seriously, the overwhelming animal cruelty cases in CT, including felony violations of a serious and violent nature, go unpunished. Many times, these crimes bypass the traditional trial system and instead go through a diversionary program where any record of the crime is completely removed. Do you think it is appropriate to stop using this diversionary program for felony animal cruelty charges?
Remember, all campaigns run on the work of dedicated volunteers and you can be part of the process by making phone calls, going door to door, putting up lawn signs or volunteering on Election Day. It's a fun and easy way to get involved in the political process, and you might meet others who share your wishes for better animal protection!