Next week’s special General Assembly session on gambling expansion also is expected to include legislation to protect pit bulls, lawmakers said Friday.
A bill that would place strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by the animals is expected to be considered by both the House and Senate, Del. Curt Anderson (D-Dist. 43) of Baltimore city told reporters.
Lawmakers will reconvene Thursday to discuss an expansion of gambling, expected to include both table games and a Prince George’s County casino.
A recent state Court of Appeals ruling declared that pit bull terriers, in particular, were inherently dangerous, and that landlords could be held liable if a tenant’s pit bull or pit bull mixed breed attacked an individual or a pet.
The pending legislation would remove landlords from liability, Anderson said, adding that he will introduce the House version, while Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Dist. 16) of Chevy Chase will introduce the Senate version. Anderson said he expects the measure to have broad support in the legislature.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis confirmed that the pit bull bills likely would receive hearings during the gambling-centric session, but did not say if lawmakers would take up any other issues.
Anderson said he would be submitting legislation related to items the Baltimore city delegation has requested in exchange for support on expansion of gambling, including increased bonding authority for city schools. But he did not know whether the legislature would take action on the proposals, he said.