Audubon California’s bill to ban the use of lead shot in state wildlife areas is still alive, but it hit a snag this Tuesday before the State Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. We went into Tuesday’s hearing knowing that the vote would be close. We knew that the National Rifle Association and related groups were lobbying hard to kill the bill, and that meant that getting any Republican votes was going to be tough. Thankfully, we’ve been able to rely on Democratic votes thus far, but this left us with very little margin for error.
As it turned out, one Democratic Senator wasn’t able to be at the hearing this week, and another abstained at the last minute. This left the vote unresolved, and the bill is expected to be taken up again this coming Tuesday under reconsideration. We’re optimistic that the bill will move on, but all of this shows that we’re up against tough opposition and we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas. We know that this is an important protection for birds and other wildlife and we won’t let up.