LEGISLATION WE CARE ABOUT – 2023-2024 Legislative Session

Teddy’s Law (SB 148 and SB 149) is sponsored by Senator Polehanki and Senator Hertel. It would require research facilities to offer dogs or cats no longer used in research to a registered animal shelter located in Michigan for adoption unless euthanizing the animal is required for health or safety reasons. The bill provides research facilities, as well as the shelters that accept the animals, immunity from civil liability if they act in good faith concerning the health and physical condition of the animal.
Senate Bill 148, sponsored by Senator Polehanki, would require research facilities that use dogs and cats to submit an annual report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about those animals adopted during the preceding year and would establish civil penalties for failure to comply with adoption standards.
UPDATE: On June 6, the Michigan Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee took testimony on Teddy’s Law, Senate Bills 148 and 149. One week later, on June 13, the committee voted and passed the bills. On November 9th, 2023 these tie-barred bills passed the Senate. SB 148/149 now make one last stop on our Governor’s desk.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Call or email your Senator and ask them to please support Teddy’s Law (SB 148/149).
Unsure of who your Senator is or what their contact information is? CLICK HERE to find out

HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW

Step 1: Bills are Introduced
~Someone comes up with an idea (usually in the form of a complaint or suggestion from a constituent).
~A legislator works with staff to craft a bill that changes current law to address the complaint or suggestion.
~Bills get a number – House Bills start at #4001; Senate Bills at #1.
~MANY bills are introduced, as many as 5,000 in a two- year legislative session.

Step 2: Bills are Referred to a Committee
~All bills are referred to either a standing committee or the appropriations committee.
~Very few bills are actually discussed by a committee – the committee chair decides which bills are discussed, and which aren’t. Many go through the entire two-year legislative session without ever being discussed at all.

Step 3: Bills are Discussed by a Committee
~Committee members discuss and debate the bill.
~The committee may also hold public hearings on the bill – opportunity for public input.

Step 4: Committee Action
~Committees will vote the bill out of committee – a majority of committee
members decides to recommend if they think the bill should be passed, or they can make changes to the bill, or they can suggest that another committee look at the bill.
~Amendments result in substitute bills.

Step 5: Floor Action
~A majority of the full House or Senate decides to pass the bill.
~Legislators can vote to return the bill to a committee for further discussion.
~Some bills are postponed for consideration, and some are tabled and are not considered again.

Step 6: Step 2-5 All Over Again
~Bills need to pass both the House and Senate.
~Bills passed in both chambers need to be identical.

Step 7: The Governor Decides
~The Governor can veto any bill, or part of any appropriations bill.
~Needs a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate to override a veto.

Adapted from the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau publication of the same name.