With only a few days left before California legislators recess for 2015, a Los Angeles assemblyman is introducing a bill that will no doubt attract an intense lobbying effort from both sides: Permanent approval for importing products made from kangaroos.
The emergence of the bill comes after months of intense Capitol speculation about whether Australian officials were quietly mounting an effort to kill a long-standing ban on kangaroo products. That ban has not been in effect for the last eight years, but is scheduled to resume at the end of the year.
"They're shoving this through in the last days of the session," said Jennifer Fearing, a Humane Society lobbyist. "The Legislature should just shut this down."
The proposal comes technically too late for legislative action, as all deadlines for new bills and bill amendments have passed. But lawmakers often circumvent those rules by removing the contents of an existing bill and replacing them with new language. It's what's known in Sacramento parlance as a "gut and amend."
Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Los Angeles, is the author of the bill and says it's important for the Legislature to act quickly on preserving the importation of products made from kangaroo skin.