THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2022 Page 9 BHRC | FROM PAGE 8 sachusetts, and seeks to undermine pro-life, pro-parental rights laws across the country,” said the president of the Massachusetts Family Institute Andrew Beckwith. “This bill also specifi cally grants Planned Parenthood the power to effectively re-write our commonwealth’s abortion laws through the regulatory process. When you combine that with the $15 million giveaway to abortion activists in the proposed state budget, it is clear what this is really about: our elected offi - cials handing over power and money to their political allies in the abortion industry.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill). Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes $10.9 BILLION TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE (S 2989) Senate 39-0, approved a nearly $11 billion transportation and infrastructure package that includes $1.375 billion for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) modernization; $400 million for MBTA safety projects; $275 million for the East-West rail project; $1.27 billion for non-federally aided roads and bridges; and a provision that directs the MBTA and allows Regional Transit Authorities across the state to create a low-income fare program. The House has approved a diff erent version of the package and a House-Senate conference committee will likely hammer out a compromise version. Other provisions include $225 million for emissions reduction initiatives, including $50 million to support access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure; $114 million for airport improvements; $25 million for municipal road pavement improvements; and $407.7 million for local and regional transportation projects. Of the more than 200 amendments fi led by senators none came to a roll call vote. Many were simply approved or rejected one at a time on voice votes. To move things along even faster, the Senate also did its usual “bundling” of many amendments. Instead of acting on each amendment one at a time, dozens of the proposed amendments are bundled and put into two piles— one pile that will be approved and the other that will be rejected, without a roll call, on voice votes where it is impossible to tell which way a senator votes. Senate President Karen Spilka, or the senator who is fi lling in for her at the podium, orchestrates the approval and rejection of the bundled amendments with a simple: “All those in favor say ‘aye,’ those opposed say ‘no.’ The ayes have it and the amendments are approved.” Or “All those in favor say ‘aye,’ those opposed say ‘no.’ The no’s have it and the amendments are rejected.” The outcome was predetermined earlier behind closed doors. “This transportation bond bill provides Massachusetts with the key to unlock once-in-a-generation federal funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law,” Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn), Senate Chair of the Committee on Transportation. “With these combined state and federal investments, we will be able to complete vital work on our highways, roads, bridges and public transportation systems, improving mobility for all residents of the commonwealth.” “While repairs to our transportation infrastructure will be beneficial to many communities across the commonwealth, this bill goes much further than merely repairing but will instead actively transform our infrastructure to be more modern, environmentally sustainable and regionally equitable,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “The support for electric vehicles, regional transportation authorities, low-income fares on public transit, expanded East-West connectivity and many other initiatives included in this bill will bring benefi ts to residents, visitors and businesses throughout Massachusetts.” “Today’s passage of this multipronged … transportation infrastructure investment package builds on our longstanding commitment to ensure the commonwealth’s transportation system is more equitable, reliable, safe and modern,” said Sen. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Going far beyond just roads and bridges, the Senate’s transportation bond bill will stimulate our economy, increase accessibility for our residents, support local businesses, create jobs, and boost economies in all corners of our commonwealth,” said Rodrigues. (A “Yes” vote is for the package). Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL ADOPT ANIMALS USED IN RESEARCH — “THE BEAGLE BILL” (S 2992) — The Senate approved a bill that would require research labs to make every eff ort to off er healthy animals up for adoption by registered non-profi t animal rescue organizations rather than euthanizing them when the research is done. According to supporters, more than 60,000 dogs—almost all beagles—and nearly 20,000 cats, are used each year for animal experimentation in the United States to advance scientifi c research and to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other household products. Currently, many research labs choose to automatically euthanize these cats and dogs once their experiments are over. The House has already approved a diff erent version of the bill and the Senate version now goes to the House for consideration. “I am proud the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation prioritizing the protection of animals across our commonwealth,” said Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem), Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee. “The Beagle Bill will give research dogs and cats a second chance at life and bring Massachusetts in line with other states across our nation. We owe so much of human advancement to the service and sacrifi ce of these animals, and they deserve to be loved and cherished after a job well done.” House sponsor Rep. Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton) said the bill will save dogs and cats from needlessly dying when their time in the testing lab comes to an end. “This national eff ort was brought to my attention by a constituent … [and] provides a framework to provide an alternate ending in a loving home through places like the MSPCA,” DuBois said. PROTECT PUPPIES AND KITTENS (S 2994) — The Senate approved and sent to the House legislation designed to protect the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns by addressing inhumane practices relating to the transfer of pets. Provisions include prohibiting the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age; ending the sale of animals on roadsides, parking lots, fl ea markets or in other public spaces; and requiring the Department of Agricultural Resources to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the operation of breeding kennels and catteries producing pets for the public as well as boarding kennels and daycare facilities for dogs and cats. “Separating puppies and kittens at a critical stage from their mother and litter before the end of their primary socialization developmental stage can result in signifi cant behavioral problems, including separation anxiety and aggression,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester). “This bill has the potential to truly protect the wellbeing of puppies and kittens in the commonwealth, who will otherwise suff er without clear, mandatory regulations on their purchase, storage and caretaking.” “As the owner of a Labrador Retriever and a cat, and as a veteran who has observed the important work that animals do to assist the young and the old when we are in crisis and need, I know fi rsthand that our animal companions play a central role in our lives—and promoting their well-being protects both pets and people,” said House sponsor Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. “By ensuring kennels meet safety standards and preventing the dangerous sale of pets that are too young, we will reduce the risk of aggressive behavior that can put dogs, cats and people at risk.” POACHING (S 2993)— The Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that would regulate poaching—the illeBHRC | SEE PAGE 19

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