Amid political rants and wranglings, the Maryland House of Delegates FAILED to vote on a bill that would nullify the “Solesky” ruling. Despite multiple prior, unanimous AFFIRMATIVE votes in the House and Senate to stop discrimination Maryland, three or four legislators and the insurance industry effectively and intentionally torpedoed the possibility of ending the nightmare for thousands of Maryland citizens who are forced to decide between their home and their family pet. We wonder which legislators felt so successful about “torpedoeing” the lives of dog owners…which ones made the whistling sound of a bomb dropping?
Did someone mention that heartless legislators mockingly sang “Who Let the Dogs Out” when it was decided the bill would not get to the House floor for a vote?
Is this the level of disrespect we as Maryland landlords, property managers, business owners and dog owners should expect from the House of Delegates in the
future? We hope not. The House was BLOCKED from voting on this bill one final time by just a few people with a mission.
Was the compromise bill ideal? Was the compromise of the compromise bill ideal? Was the THIRD compromise bill ideal? No, no, and no. As a matter of fact, we don’t think any of the bills would have truly solved the long term, ongoing problem of landlords prohibiting dogs from their properties. But the bills would have prevented the immediate problem…that of landlords THROWING OUT established tenants with dogs who already live in these rental units. Tenants who have otherwise been living peacibly among their neighbors whose innocent dogs are suddenly and needlessly declared dangerous for no reason other than their appearance. Instead of compromise, which we were hoping and fighting for, we have nothing.
Despite the apparent display of meanness and ugliness by a few thoughtless lawmakers in the end, let’s remember that, ever since the Maryland Court of Appeals legislated from the bench with inadequate and inaccurate information that an entire race of dogs could be declared dangerous, many organizations with varying, often opposing viewpoints rallied to correct the common problem created by the court’s ruling. Between the 2012 Special Session and the 2013 Regular Session, MULTIPLE unanimous House and Senate committee and floor votes allowed no misunderstanding…the majority of the Maryland legislature was in favor of fixing the court’s mess. We thank those senators and delegates for sticking with their constituents and hope they will continue to support us in the effort to stop needless discrimination.
To everyone who wrote, called and emailed legislators, rallied, testified and visited lawmakers–thank you for doing everything possible. This was not a failure of public involvement. On the contrary, thousands remained involved and engaged for over a year. Kudos to you all for exercising your democratic rights to support Maryland Dog Owners! The Maryland Dog Federation is wasting no time and will begin creating it’s legislative agenda for 2014.