November 18th, 2019 – The legislature is moving to protect pollinators: only a few days after the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee heard testimony from dozens of advocates in support of reducing pesticides, they passed the Pollinator Protection Act (H.763, “An Act to protect Massachusetts pollinators”). This bill would place commonsense restrictions on the class of pesticides known as “neonics” and promote pollinator habitats in the state.
We are grateful to the strong environmental leadership of the committee chairs, Rep Smitty Pignatelli and Sen. Anne Gobi, for acting quickly to advance this bill. At the hearing on Nov. 12th (more on the hearing, below) we were excited to see our pollinator champions Rep. Carolyn Dykema and Attorney General Maura Healy testify together in support of the bill they cosponsored. “We believe that this bill represents a thoughtful, balanced step forward toward protecting our pollinators by curbing misuse of neonicotinoid pesticides,” Rep. Dykema said in a statement on Facebook.
Thank you to everyone who has taken action by contacting their legislators about the need to protect pollinators and reduce pesticides. A broad coalition has formed in support of this bill, including farmers, gardeners, beekeepers, conservationists, academics, environmentalists, health advocates, nurseries, and landscapers. We will need to keep growing our numbers and the volume of our collective voice if this bill is to pass. The bill is now headed to the House Ways and Means Committee, which is where the chemical industry lobbyists would like to see it get “lost in the shuffle.”
Even with over 75% of the legislature signed as cosponsors, there’s no guarantee that it will make it to the floor for a vote. It’s up to us to keep it on the top of the stack, so please keep contacting legislators and sharing the action page! Learn more about the bill and take action at http://bit.ly/mapollenaction (To have a greater impact, please call your legislators about this bill!…)