K-9 Mitchell Law Among Bills Stalled In Albany

Several bills proposed by Assemblyman Andy Goodell and state Sen. Cathy Young, including one that would make it a felony to injure a police animal, failed to get through the New York State Legislature this year.

However, neither representative said they are giving up on their legislation.

In May, Young, R-Olean, stood next to members of the police department to announce bipartisan support for Mitchell’s Law. Named after K-9 Mitchell of the JPD, the law introduced in January would have made it a felony to injure a K-9 officer in the line of duty. K-9 Mitchell was injured in November while assisting in the apprehension of murder suspect Keith Robbins.

Young managed to get a Democrat bill sponsor in Assemblyman Matthew Titone, D-Staten Island. Despite gaining passage through the Senate, the bill didn’t get out of committee in the Assembly.

“Sometimes legislation takes a little bit of time to get through,” Young said. “I passed it in the Senate but it got stalled in the Assembly. There are a lot of animal advocates in the Assembly. I hope through continued communication with them that we’ll be able to get this through.”

A proposal by Young to limit a state parole violator’s time in a county jail failed to get out of the legislature. Young said the bill would provide relief to county governments by moving an alleged state parole violator to a state correctional facility within 72 hours of their original detention in a county facility. The bill memo states that county budgets are facing strains due to costs associated with maintaining state violators.

While the bill passed through the Senate, it didn’t get out of the Assembly before the end of session.

“The cost of housing prisoners has skyrocketed especially for those who require specialized care or prescription drugs because of medical conditions,” she said. “It piles the cost onto local taxpayers and I think there should be relief.”

See tomorrow’s edition of The Post-Journal for complete coverage.