By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director

In these novel times (COVID-19), the State Legislature has extended its formal session beyond the July 31 2020 deadline. While this technically means that all of our current priority bills are still alive, it appears that this overtime is dedicated solely to bills directly related to COVID-19, the budget, and conference committee reports. Fortunately, one of our priority bills, the Healthy Soils Bill, was attached as an amendment to the economic development bill related to the pandemic and is currently in conference committee.

On July 29, 2020, with the support of our Coalition, our Healthy Soils Champion in the Senate, Senator Jo Comerford, was successful in advocating for the text of the Healthy Soils Bill to be included as an amendment to a piece of “must pass” legislation in the Senate, “H.4887 – An Act enabling partnerships for growth,” aka “The Economic Development Bill.” Unfortunately, the amendment was not included in the House version of the bill.

Healthy soils champion Senator Jo Comerford

As of August 27, 2020, the bill is still in conference committee; a small group of legislators from both chambers are reconciling the two versions of the bill. We have submitted a letter to the committee on behalf of 37 coalition partners and are asking our members to contact their own legislators to request their support to “adopt the Senate’s Healthy Soils Bill Amendment to the Economic Development Bill.”

Click here to take action within seconds – send a quick email to your State Rep to support Healthy Soils

If your legislator is one of the members of the conference committee listed here, please reach out to their office personally, as a constituent, and make the ask! The members of the committee include: Senator Eric Lesser, Senator Michael Rodrigues, Senator Patrick O’Connor, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, and Representative Donald Wong.

As a commonwealth, we must scale out healthy soils practices so that everyone has access to nutrient dense, climate-friendly food. By promoting healthy soils practices, the State will help Massachusetts farmers improve crop quality and also help them better adapt to the shocks of worsening climate destabilization.

For more information on the bill and to take action, please visit (and share!) our action page:

Thank you!