HEN TREATMENT AND CAGE-FREE STANDARDS


By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved and Governor Baker signed into law a conference committee version of legislation that would make changes and put Massachusetts in line with other larger egg-producing states that have put in place standards for hen confinement. In 2016, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed Question 3 to prevent cruelty to pigs, calves and egg-laying hens. At the time it was the strongest law for farm animals in history but since then leading retailers, producers and other states mandated even stronger standards in the shift to cage-free conditions for hens. Supporters said the bill will ensure the Bay State adapts to the new science unavailable in 2016.

Senate sponsor Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) said the standard around the country for egg-laying hens has evolved, and Massachusetts is now an outlier, which could threaten the state’s supply of eggs. “Fortunately, the egg producers and animal welfare groups have come together to agree on this legislation, ensuring safe and humane conditions for egg-laying hens and affordable eggs for Massachusetts consumers,” said Lewis.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has lobbied against the bill. “Whether hens are given 1 or 1.5 square feet of space, the term ‘cage-free’ is still a scam.” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “These exploited animals are forced into a hellscape of crowding and chaos before they’re slaughtered and replaced by the next batch of doomed souls. PETA is launching an ad campaign in Boston exposing the suffering that hens will endure under this bill, and we’re urging the public to see through the egg industry’s lies and greed and go vegan.”

SENATORS WANT TO ABOLISH THE ESTATE TAX/DEATH TAX

By Bob Katzen

The Revenue Committee will hold a virtual hearing on January 12, 2022 on separate bills sponsored by Sens. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) that would abolish the tax that the estate of a person with assets of more than $1 million is required to pay following their death before distribution to any beneficiary. Continue reading SENATORS WANT TO ABOLISH THE ESTATE TAX/DEATH TAX

STATE-CORPORATIONS MUST PAY HIGHER TAXES IF THE CEO’S SALARY IS MORE THAN 100 TIMES THAT OF THE MEDIAN WORKER’S SALARY

By Bob Katzen

The Revenue Committee held a virtual hearing that would require that an additional 2 percent tax be paid by publicly-traded corporations which pay the CEO more than 100 times the median worker’s salary. Continue reading STATE-CORPORATIONS MUST PAY HIGHER TAXES IF THE CEO’S SALARY IS MORE THAN 100 TIMES THAT OF THE MEDIAN WORKER’S SALARY

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week

By Bob Katzen

This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the number of times in the 2021 session each senator sided with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and voted to sustain the governor’s 25 vetoes of items, mostly in the fiscal 2022 state budget. A vote to sustain means the senator supports Baker’s veto. A vote to override means the senator voted to fund the item despite the governor’s veto. Continue reading THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week

Somerville Commits $9M in ARPA Funds to Childcare, Rental Assistance, and a Universal Basic Income Pilot Project

Additional $3 million for transit subsidies under consideration

SOMERVILLE, MA – Somerville’s outgoing and incoming Mayors jointly announced the City’s first major allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars today, dedicating $9 million in funding to childcare, rental assistance, and a Universal Basic Income pilot project. Continue reading Somerville Commits $9M in ARPA Funds to Childcare, Rental Assistance, and a Universal Basic Income Pilot Project

City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

The City of Somerville received 16,650 free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits from the state that are being distributed via various channels to Somerville residents who have limited access to testing, limited means to purchase at-home tests, and are at high risk of exposure. Continue reading City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

Audit Identifies Issues with How Nonprofit Serving Vulnerable Populations Resolves Complaints and Manages Finances of Individuals in its Care

In an audit released today, the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found issues in how the Center for Human Development (CHD), a nonprofit that provides programs and services to vulnerable populations, resolves complaints for persons served by its group homes and programs and manages the finances of individuals in its care. Continue reading Audit Identifies Issues with How Nonprofit Serving Vulnerable Populations Resolves Complaints and Manages Finances of Individuals in its Care