2023 Priority Legislation and Endorsements

The Regenerative Farming, Forests and Food Systems Workgroup’s bills

Links to recordings from the hearings are included with each bill as they become available. Find Testimony here.

Forest/Land Protection

An act relative to forest management and practices guidelines 

An act to require separate carbon accounting for working lands and natural lands

  • H895 Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa
  • Requires separate reporting of benchmarks, baseline measurements, measures of carbon flux, Massachusetts’ climate “roadmap” goals and plans for agricultural lands, forest lands that produce wood products, forest lands in parks and reserves and not producing wood products, and other natural or working lands.

An act relative to increased protection of wildlife management areas

An act to encourage solar development on buildings and disturbed lands

Pesticides

An act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides 

An An act relative to pesticides

  • Update Jan. 2024: This combined bill was reported favorably out to Ways and Means
  • H.825/S.487 Rep. James Hawkins, Sen. Paul Feeney
  • Creates an online portal and database for pesticide use reporting records with online public access to the annual data and requires that pesticides be proven safe before being used on playgrounds and fields where children learn and play.

An act relative to the pesticide board

YCAN — Youth Climate Action Now

An act implementing elementary and secondary interdisciplinary climate justice education across the Commonwealth

  • H.496/S.260 Rep. James Hawkins, Sen. Julian Cyr
  • Promotes understanding of climate change in school curriculum and allows inclusion in science, history, social sciences, technology, or business.

RF3 CAN Endorsed Bills

Forest/Land Protection

Solar

  • An Act prohibiting public and ratepayer funding of clearcutting forests and woodlands
  • An Act promoting solar energy canopies on large parking lots
  • An Act regarding municipal zoning powers
    • S.1319/H. 2082, (similar to H.3230/S.2164 re solar siting)
    • referred to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government 

Pesticides

  • An act protecting our soil and farms from PFAS contamination
    • Jan 2024 update: renumbered to H.4288 and sent to Ways and Means
    • H.101/S.39 Rep. Paul Schmid, Sen. Jo Comerford
    • Calls for testing of sewage sludge for PFAS chemicals that may end up in agricultural land – and eventually our food, warning labels on products containing PFAS, and funding to help farmers access alternatives to products containing PFAS.
  • An act relative to the use of glyphosate on public lands
    • S.517 Sen. Jason Lewis
    • Ends application of glyphosate on any lands owned or maintained by the Commonwealth without a special permit, when there is an immediate threat to human and environmental health, and there is no viable alternative to glyphosate.

Protection of air, water, and other natural resources

  • An act to establish individual standing
    • H.1816 Rep. Susannah Whipps
    • Gives the public legal standing in court to hold state agencies accountable for protection of air, water, and other natural resources. 

Regenerative Agriculture and Food Justice

  • An act promoting equity in agriculture
    • H.87/S.41 Rep. Natalie Blais, Sen. Jo Comerford
    • Establishes a commission to develop recommendations for supporting investments, policies and practices designed to promote equity in agriculture for socially disadvantaged groups.
  • An act relative to food justice with jobs
    • H.855 Rep. Adrian Madero
    • Gives income-based agricultural grants to individuals for tools, seeds, garden boxes; provides advisors and prohibits the use of chemical pesticides.

Biomass