Here in the Key Votes Department, we have to be selective about which votes we choose to put on the PVS website. Occasionally, a controversial bill with lots of press or narrow vote margins must be passed over because it does not represent a strong issue position. In July, the North Carolina state legislature ratified two such bills: SB 307, which regulates the ownership of large reptiles, and HB 1110, which limits North Carolina's unique alienation of affection law.
According to an article by the North Carolina News & Observer, Burmese Pythons are the most commonly owned household snake species. They can grow up to sixteen feet, enabling them to consume dogs as large as German Shepherds. Under the new law, Burmese Pythons, other large constrictor snakes, and crocodiles must be kept and transported in secure, clearly marked, and inescapable containers. If they escape, are handled improperly, or harm human beings, the owner can be convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor. While this bill passed 46-0 in the Senate and 109-1 in the House (Representative Bordsen cast the lone dissenting vote), the measure has received media attention from the Associated Press and snake enthusiasts all over the state.
On a completely different note, the NC legislature has now made it tougher for spouses to sue their husband or wife's significant other under a rare and age-old legal measure alienation of affection. North Carolina is one of only six states that still allow spouses to sue third parties for destroying their marriage, with or without evidence of sexual interaction. Now, spouses cannot sue after legal separation has commenced, more than three years after the alleged action(s) occurred, or if the third party is not a "natural person." This vote passed more narrowly, with votes of 75-42 in the House, 32-14 in the Senate and a concurrence vote of only 63-48 in the House two months later.
-Emma Green (Georgetown University, 2012, Government major, Arabic minor, from Brentwood, TN), Key Votes Intern
29 July 2009
Written by Bonnie
Related tags: blog, key-votes, North-Carolina