Ill. senators push miniature horse bill

May 16, 2012

Jewell Washington

(Flickr/Cragin Spring)
Illinois lawmakers approved a measure to HB3826 that would allow people with disabilities to use trained mini-horses like guide dogs.

Some Illinois lawmakers want people with disabilities to be able to use miniature horses in the same ways they use guide dogs.

State Sen. Dave Koehler (46th) added the measure to a House bill on trained service animals.

Koehler said the option of a mini-horse could help children and adults who are allergic to dogs.

“I have no concerns that we’re gonna see any stampede in grocery stores or anything like that,” Koehler said.  “This is an issue that pertains really to the disabled community, and it’s something that puts us in compliance to the federal law”.

Koehler's amendment includes limits on weight and height for the mini-horses.

State Sen. Dave Syverson voted against the measure. He said mini-horses would be a classroom distraction and cost the state money to pay for the horse training.

“Children have a hard enough time concentrating, and if you’re gonna be bringing a miniature horse in the classrooms that’s clearly gonna become a disruptive event for the students,” he said.

The Senate approved the measure 40-11 Tuesday.

It heads back to the House for a final vote.