OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) –A bill designed to prevent animal-rights organizations from raising funds in Oklahoma and spending it in other states or on political campaigns passed a legislative panel.
House Bill 2250, authored by Rep. Brian Renegar, D- McAlester, forbids any charitable animal-rights group, professional fundraiser or professional solicitor from soliciting funds in Oklahoma for use on "program services or functional expenses outside of this state, or for political purposes inside or outside this state."
Renegar indicated HB 2250 was written in response to the Humane Society of the United States raising "about a million dollars" following the Moore tornado of 2013. Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, told the House Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development the group only spent about $100,000 of the money raised in Oklahoma and spent the rest elsewhere.
Renegar told the same committee his bill focuses on animal "rights" groups and not "welfare" groups. He went on to explain that the reason for banning the use of animal-rights contributions for political purposes in because of State Question 777; the "right to farm" issue that will appear on the general election ballot in November.
"Outside political interests will be coming into Oklahoma and spending many, many dollars fighting this," Renegar said.
If passed, the bill would go into effect Nov. 1, 2016.