SACRAMENTO,CA (AP) - California lawmakers have approved legislation that would double the state's cockfighting fines.
The Assembly on Monday unanimously approved SB1145 by Hemet Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson on a 78-0 vote. The bill raises the fine for anyone convicted of cockfighting from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000.
California charges first time offenders with a misdemeanor and some advocates say the punishment should be raised to a felony. But since the state is looking to reduce prison costs, supporters pushed for increasing fines rather than penalties.
The bill also increases fines on other animal fighting, such as bears and dogs. Spectators could face as many as six months in jail and a fine of $5,000, up from $1,000.
The Senate already approved the bill, which now goes to the governor.