Bills > 2015-2016 Session Continued

2016 Bills filed Continued

H1274 An Act relating to the treatment of elephants

Study Order 

This legislation would ban the cruel use of bullhooks on circus elephants in Massachusetts. The city of Los Angeles and many smaller cities and towns have banned this practice. Shortly after this bill was filed, news broke that Feld Entertainment, Ringling Bros. parent company, announced that they would stop using elephants in their circus by 2018. Below is the story and two very strong editorials.

Associated Press Ringling phasing out iconic elephant act by 2018

The Boston Globe Editorial Ringling's elephant move is a start

The New York Times Editorial Why not retire the circus elephants now? 

The Washington Post Novelists applaud Ringling Bros.' decision to stop using elephants

Lowell Sun Outlaw this Cruel Treatment of Circus Elephants

Sacramento Bee Lawmakers send Jerry Brown bill to ban use of bullhooks on elephants                                                                                                         

H663 An Act to reduce plastic bag pollution   



On the heels of successfully passed legislation in California, we will seek to become the second state in the nation to pass a statewide ban of single use plastic grocery bags, which clog our gutters and storm drains, litter our sidewalks, and harm to marine life. This legislation would encourage the use of durable, reusable grocery bags, following the lead of most other Western countries, which have kicked the plastic bag habit. Many communities in Massachusetts have already passed their own ordinances among them Marblehead, Great Barrington, Newburyport, Brookline, Newton and Cambridge

Wicked Local: Latest attempt to sack plastic bags makes rounds at MA State House



H2983 An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Port Authority Community Advisory Committee


**PASSED** This legislation adds the coastal communities of Lynn, Swampscott and Marblehead to the list of cities and towns that appoint voting members to the Massachusetts Port Authority Community Advisory Committee.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

H659 An Act preventing the disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater  RELEASED FROM COMMITTEE: FAVORABLE!


One of the many hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing – better known as fracking – is that at the end of the process, there is toxic wastewater that needs to be disposed of. Even if no fracking takes place within Massachusetts, with the ongoing fracking boom not too far from here in Pennsylvania, we run the risk of seeing our rivers or streams polluted by dumped fracking wastewater. This bill would ban such dumping and send a message that Massachusetts is serious about protecting its water resources from the hazards of fracking.                                                                                                                                                        


H2733 An Act to study the feasibility of streamlining business registration filed with Sen. Bruce Tarr

Study Order


This legislation seeks to study the feasibility of streamlining the registration process for small businesses.


H839 An Act relative to tobacco premium ratings



This bill forbids health insurers from assigning a tobacco use factor to insurance premiums, which impedes treatment.



H1272 An Act to enhance safety and security in courthouses


This legislation would make changes in the current law to deter persons from criminal conduct in court houses and against person engaged in the performance of official duties in the courts, including court staff, jurors, prosecutors and attorneys, in order to insure that those who work in the court system or come to our courts as jurors, witnesses, parties or attorneys seeking justice or performing acts relating to the administration of justice will  be safe and secure. 


H840 An Act relative to credit reporting in bankruptcy


This legislation protects consumers by ensuring that payments made to banks on discharged mortgages following a bankruptcy are reported to the major credit reporting agencies.



H1271 An Act to establish a Claimants' Trust


This legislation encourages the early aggregation of claims arising out of the same transaction, resolution of claims on a pre-suit basis or through alternative dispute resolution, the efficient litigation and administration of such aggregated claims, and the sound financial and tax planning and fiscal management of settlement funds for the beneficiary’s benefit.                                                                                                 

4 Quarry-related bills:

                                                                                                                    H1936 An Act relative to noisome trades


This legislation adds certain activities like asphalt plants to the noisome trades chapter, allowing them to be regulated by local authorities.


H660 An Act relative to zoning regulations


Chapter 21B is the state acceptance of  the federal mining law. This bill seeks to expand the law to non-coal mining as many other states have done to better regulate quarrying and earth removal products and mitigation measures available to cities and towns.

H662 An Act relative to the groundwater survey program


The legislation would answer questions about quarry redevelopment in the context of water supply protection by specifically adding a criterion  to the current ground water survey program priorities. The legislation establishes a final hydro-geol