Friday, August 22, 2008

State Capitol Roundup for August 22

Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147):

Ag Progress Days Hosts Pair of Hearings

Pennsylvania's Ag Progress Days, held near State College, played host to two House committee hearings late this week. The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met to discuss conservation techniques while the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee met to examine emergency response to farm accidents. Farmers and ranchers work in the seventh deadliest industry according to statistics, with an average of 37 deaths for every 100,000 workers. Ag Progress Days hosted more than 400 commercial exhibitors showcasing state-of-the-art technology as well as various agriculture-related goods and services, and demonstrations and displays of all types to educate visitors about the latest in Pennsylvania agriculture.

Legislation to Protect Service Dogs Topic of House Judiciary Hearing

Members of the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week regarding the merits of legislation to protect service dogs for the disabled from various forms of mistreatment. House Bill 593, which is sponsored by Rep. John Evans (R-Erie/Crawford), would make the owner or co-owner of a dog that kills maims or disfigures a guide dog of an individual who is blind, a hearing dog for audible impaired individuals or a service dog for physically limited individuals, guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor. If found guilty under the new law, the cost for obtaining veterinary care or the replacement cost for a new service dog could also be recovered. The legislation is currently awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee.

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