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A tradition continues with carriage rides on the Wash U. campus

Washington University junior Seira Furukawa, 20, is concentrating on her email and oblivious to "Bud" the horse and carriage behind her on the sidewalk on the Washington University campus on Monday afternoon, Feb. 17, 2014. The carriage belongs to the St. Louis Carriage Company and is driven by Holly Armstrong. Carriage rides on Washington's birthday are a tradition on the campus. The rides were sponsored by the Washington University Lock and Chain Sophomore Honorary. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY • Cities like St.  Louis would be able to impose tougher regulations on horse carriage operators, but not completely ban their operation, under legislation that won preliminary approval in the Missouri Senate Tuesday.

Acting quickly in response to an attempt by St. Louis alderman to ban horse-drawn carriage rides on city streets, the Republican-controlled Senate approved a plan that would bar cities from imposing rules that would prohibit the use of a working animal.

The measure, which needs one more vote in the chamber before moving to the House for further debate, would allow municipalities to impose rules that could stop carriage rides if temperatures are too hot or too cold, or, for example, during rush hour traffic.

Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, said the version that was given the green light by senators was the eighth draft of the measure. He bemoaned attempts to ban the horses.

“It is a good draw for tourism in the downtown area,” Munzlinger said. “They provide a lot of photographic opportunities.”

Sen. Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, said he was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations.

“I think this is something we can live with,” Hummel said.

The legislation is Senate Bill 918.

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