‘Buddy’s Law’ dies in the House on deadline day
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While “Buddy’s Law” was passed by the Senate in February, it died this week when the House committee failed to take it up before the latest deadline.
After a long 10 months of recovery, Buddy the dog was released from the hospital last month after being set on fire by a 12-year-old boy back in April 2021.
But while Buddy has moved on to better things, the law that could both protect animals like him and help troubled children has failed in the House.
“I’m not really sure why ‘Buddy’s Law’ died in the House. I tried to ask the chairman, tried to ask the speaker as to what the problem was,” Senator Angela Hill, (Rep., District 40), said.
Hill, author of “Buddy’s Law,” said the bill would have required psychological evaluations, counseling, and/or treatments for children who torture domesticated cats and dogs.
But on March 1, the bill failed to be taken up in the House. Senator Hill said she believes the bill failed due to others’ political goals.
“Sometimes there’s bills that they want to come out the other chamber and good bills are held hostage or killed. I would just encourage members to read their oath of office, because your oath of office says that you don’t trade one bill for another,” Sen. Hill said.
According to licensed clinical social worker with Baptist Hospital, Melissa Donahue, “Buddy’s Law” would have definitely helped slow the cycle of violence and helped catch issues in homes.
“Something like a law being put in place, like Buddy’s law, I think that would be a great tool for families, maybe some problems are uncovered, that the family comes out of it with resources of how to deal with that behavior with the child,” Donahue said.
Donahue said she would recommend that lawmakers reconsider their choice to kill the bill because it has the potential to help children grow up and contribute to society.
“There is the opportunity for people to go down the path of doing right, being successful being a contributing person in society. But they need those tools,” Donahue said.
“There are a lot of people across the state that wanted to see Buddy’s Law passed. And I’ll keep going with it,” Hill said.
Hill said she isn’t giving up on Buddy just yet and will be working on either trying to fit the “Buddy’s Law” into another bill or improve it for next legislative session.
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