Invest in the future of The 7″ ,f ; ,e4 4..$ with a CHARITABLE REMAINDER UNITARYTRUST That’s a pretty highfalutin’ name for when you make a bequest while you are living. The first good thing is that you get the charitable deduction up front and the income from your gift for life. Then, when the inevitable thing besides taxes finally happens, another good thing will happen. Your gift will help ensure that The Texas Observer keeps on fighting for justice and equality for all Texans. If you want to give The Texas Observer a gift that keeps on giving or have questions about your options or how to start a charitable remainder unitary trust, give us a call. 512-477-0746 or 800-939-6620 11_71….__ .= _ _ W V. …MO& … *14.4. q — —- -_. -.’5 FOE HE P … …,….. w ,….. ..m.. ../.. ..f l a//1 1 poroolo del, “m ow 1 11 .0111110′ TAN 1t to. troller recently reported that Texas lost 75,800 jobs in January. You do the math. Legler says he hasn’t worked out how the state would pay for the drug tests yet. He wants the state to pay for those who pass, but people who fail would pay their own way. “I think the person needs to know there’s consequences,” Legler says. In that spirit, Legler has also authored House Bill 1136 to exclude people from benefits if they are fired for violating their employers’ drug-testing policies. Susan Peterson PROFILING PIT BULLS House Bill 925 Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston is proposing a law that relies on a tried-and-true American approach to police work: appearance-based profiling. Dutton’s House Bill 925 would prohibit people age 15 or younger from handling a pit bullor a mixed breed that sort of looks like a pit bullwithout adult supervision. Pit bull owners who allow someone under 16 near their dogs without adult supervision would commit a Class C misdemeanor, which could set them back up to $500. The bill also says that if the pit bull attacks or kills the child, the owner is liable. Before giving cops the green light to comb neighborhoods separating 15-year-olds from dogs that look too pit bullesque, lawmakers might ponder whether this is a wise use of taxpayer resources. Laws that apply only to one breed of dog, known as “breedspecific legislation,” have been panned by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and even the Centers for Disease Control as ineffective, difficult to enforce, and in some cases counterproductive. According to the ASPCA, “When limited animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed of dog, without regard to behavior, the focus is shifted away from routine, effective enforcement of laws that have the best chance of making our communities safer.” A CDC report in 2000 pointed out that “a ban on a specific breed might cause people who want a dangerous dog to simply turn to another breed for the same qualities they sought in the original dog.” Texas law already makes owners liable for dog attacks including criminal prosecution. Dutton’s bill doesn’t significantly change the legal ramifications; it simply makes it a crime to let kids pet or walk certain animals. “We’re not sure what the intent is here,” says Skip Trimble of the Texas Humane Legislation Network. “If [Dutton] is trying to protect the public from pit bulls, why doesn’t he just do that? I don’t see the benefit of segregating out an age bracket. And if he’s just trying to protect children, I’m not sure this does it. It’s going to hurt just as bad when they’re bitten by a German shepherd.” Reeve Hamilton MARCH 20, 2009 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23
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