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The Pit Bully Pulpit: Legislators Create a Dog Day Task Force

Believing that the Court of Appeals barked up the wrong tree in declaring pit bulls to be "inherently dangerous," legislative leaders have formed a task force to find ways around the controversial decision.


As recently reported by The Washington Post, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch have appointed a ten member Joint Task Force to study the court decision and to make recommendations concerning the disputed issued.  Baltimore area legislators on the Task Force include Senators Lisa Gladden (D-Baltimore), Joseph Getty (R-Carroll), and Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County), and Delegates Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore), Eric Bromwell (D-Baltimore), and Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil).

During the General Assembly’s Special Session on the budget which occurred May 14 and 15, several legislators introduced bills to overturn the Court’s ruling.  No action was taken on any of the bills.

If an 11-member work group appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley can reach consensus on a special session addressing expanding casino gambling within the State, the Maryland General Assembly may gather for a second Special Session the week of July 9.  According to Delegate Smigiel, “the Legislative leadership wants to address this problem when we reconvene for the second Special Session of 2012, sometime in July.”  Having sponsored a bill during the first Special Session to overturn the Court’s ruling, Delegate Smigiel certainly has the pit bull issue on his agenda.  However, it remains to be seen as to whether the Democratic leadership is as eager as this Cecil County Republican to overturn the Court’s ruling so quickly when a Joint Task Force has only recently been appointed to investigate the matter.  Stay tuned.

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