BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 2743|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 2743
          Author:   Nava (D)
          Amended:  7/15/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  3-2, 6/15/10
          AYES:  Corbett, Hancock, Leno
          NOES:  Harman, Walters

           SENATE FLOOR  :  19-14, 8/11/10 (FAIL)
          AYES:  Alquist, Cedillo, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Ducheny,  
            Florez, Hancock, Kehoe, Leno, Liu, Lowenthal, Padilla,  
            Pavley, Price, Romero, Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland,  
            Yee
          NOES:  Aanestad, Ashburn, Cogdill, Correa, Denham, Dutton,  
            Emmerson, Harman, Hollingsworth, Huff, Runner, Wolk,  
            Wright, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon, Negrete McLeod, Oropeza,  
            Walters, Wiggins, Vacancy, Vacancy

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  63-7, 5/13/10 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Real property:  rentals:  animals

           SOURCE  :     Paw Project


           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits a landlord that allows  
          tenants or occupants to have animals on the premises from  
          doing any of the following:  (1) advertising the property  
          in a way that discourages an individual from applying  
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          because their animal is not declawed or devocalized, (2)  
          refusing to allow, negotiate, or make the property  
          available for occupancy because of a person's refusal to  
          declaw or devocalize an animal, (3) requiring a tenant or  
          occupant to declaw or devocalize an animal that is allowed  
          on the premises, (4) giving preferential treatment to a  
          person because their animal is declawed or devocalized, or  
          (5) discriminating in the terms of the occupancy, or  
          provision of services, because a person owns an animal that  
          has not been declawed or devocalized.  

          This bill imposes a civil penalty of $2,500 per animal for  
          every violation that results in the declawing or  
          devocalizing of an animal, and a $1,000 penalty for every  
          violation that does not result in the declawing or  
          devocalizing of an animal.  This bill permits a person  
          harmed by a violation, or a 501(c)(3) corporation that is  
          either dedicated to the protection of animals or whose  
          mission includes the protection of fair housing laws, to  
          enforce that penalty.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 7/15/10 make a  
          technical/clarifying change.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law prohibits any person from  
          performing, or otherwise procuring or arranging for the  
          performance of, surgical claw removal, declawing,  
          onychectomy, or tendonectomy on any cat that is a member of  
          an exotic or native wild cat species, and from otherwise  
          altering such a cat's toes, claws, or paws to prevent the  
          normal function of the cat's toes, claws, or paws, unless  
          the procedure is performed solely for a therapeutic  
          purpose. (Pen. Code Sec. 597.6.)

          Existing law generally prohibits discrimination and related  
          conduct with respect to the rental or sale of housing  
          accommodations on the basis of a person's race, color,  
          religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national  
          origin, ancestry, familial status, and other factors.   
          (Gov. Code Sec. 12955.)

          Existing law generally regulates the terms and conditions  
          of residential tenancies and governs the obligations of  
          tenants and landlord under a lease or tenancy.  (Civ. Code  

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          Sec. 1940 et seq.)

          This bill prohibits any person or corporation that  
          occupies, owns, manages, or provides services in connection  
          with any real property, including the individual's or  
          corporation's agents or successors-in-interest, from doing  
          any of the following if they allow an animal on the  
          premises:

          1. Advertise, through any means, the availability of real  
             property for occupancy in a manner designed to  
             discourage application for occupancy of that real  
             property because the applicant's animal has not been  
             declawed or devocalized.

          2. Refuse to allow the occupancy of any real property,  
             refuse to negotiate the occupancy of any real property,  
             or to otherwise make unavailable or deny to any other  
             person the occupancy of any real property because of  
             that person's refusal to declaw or devocalize any  
             animal.

          3. Require any tenant or occupant of real property to  
             declaw or devocalize any animal allowed on the premises.

          4. Give preferential treatment in terms of the right of  
             occupancy or the provision of services to another person  
             because that person owns an animal that has been  
             declawed or devocalized.

          5. Discriminate in terms of the occupancy or the provision  
             of services against another person because that person  
             owns an animal that has not been declawed or  
             devocalized.

          This bill provides that nothing in the bill shall prevent  
          the inclusion, in an occupancy agreement, of a provision  
          that a present or potential occupant may not declaw or  
          devocalize any animal that will be allowed on the premises.

          This bill confers standing to enforce the bill's provisions  
          on any person harmed by a violation, or an organization  
          formed in compliance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal  
          Revenue Code that is dedicated to the protection of animals  

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          or whose mission includes the protection of fair housing  
          laws.  This bill also provides that a person or  
          organization may sue for declaratory relief, injunctive  
          relief, or for monetary relief as provided below.

          This bill provides that, in addition to any other penalty,  
          a violation of the bill that results in the declawing or  
          devocalizing of an animal shall result in a civil penalty  
          of not more than $2,500, per animal, to be paid to the  
          person whose animal was declawed or devocalized in  
          violation, or to a 501(c)(3) organization that is  
          authorized to bring an action.

          This bill additionally provides that a violation that does  
          not result in the declawing or devocalizing of an animal  
          shall result in a civil penalty of not more than $1,000, to  
          be paid to the plaintiff. 

          This bill defines animal, application for occupancy, claw,  
          declawing, devocalizing, nontherapeutic, and owner. 

          This bill also enacts various uncodified findings and  
          declarations regarding the effects of declawing and  
          devocalizing.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/4/10)

          Paw Project (source)
          California Apartment Association
          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
          City of West Hollywood
          Nolan-Taft Management
          United Animal Nations
          Western Center on Law & Poverty

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/4/10)

          California Veterinary Medical Association
          The Animal Council

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office,  

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          "Eight local governments in California have recently banned  
          the practice of cat declawing (Berkeley, Beverly Hills,  
          Burbank, Culver City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa  
          Monica, West Hollywood), recognizing the practice as  
          inhumane.  And many governments at all levels have banned  
          the practice of devocalization.  Nonetheless, a search of  
          rental listings throughout California produces a number of  
          properties with landlords and managers requiring that  
          potential owners will be considered only with declawed cats  
          or devocalized dogs . . .  both of these practices can have  
          unintended consequences for property managers, physical  
          complications for animals, and emotional and financial  
          consequences for pet owners."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The Animal Council, in  
          opposition, contends, "Amending the well understood word  
          "debark" - simply reducing volume of barking - to the term  
          "devocalize" being used by political opponents of this  
          lawful veterinary procedure leads to inaccurate  
          presumptions that a dog would be rendered silent.  Rather  
          debarked dogs retain a wide range of noise making abilities  
          that can be annoying or disturbing to the legal public  
          nuisance level in residential settings and [result in] law  
          enforcement action against the owner and dog.  Intentional  
          use of other than plain language in legislation is  
          troubling and problematic. Also, because pet keeping  
          tenants are not a legally protected class, granting  
          standing to enforce and obtain their own civil penalties to  
          certain organizations only increases the incentive for  
          landlords to bar all pets rather than risk the costs of  
          dealing with adversarial, sometimes ideologically inclined  
          organizations not otherwise interested in a party [or] the  
          tenancy.  Lack of or loss of rental housing is a major  
          relinquishment risk for pets, [such] that AB 2743 . . .  
          creates additional barriers to rental housing for pet  
          owners and new disincentives to landlords to individually  
          negotiate pet rentals either at the beginning of or during  
          tenancy."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block, Blumenfield,  
            Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, Emmerson,  

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            Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller,  
            Furutani, Galgiani, Hall, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill,  
            Huber, Huffman, Jones, Lieu, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland, Swanson,  
            Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, John  
            A. Perez
          NOES:  Anderson, Conway, Gaines, Garrick, Gilmore, Harkey,  
            Logue
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Caballero, Cook, DeVore, Hagman,  
            Jeffries, Knight, Norby, Silva, Skinner, Vacancy


          RJG:dok  8/17/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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