Beacon Hill Weekly Roundup - 6/26/12
Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
Karen Heymann, Legislative Director
Christina McDermott, Assistant to the Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
ACTION ALERT - Save the Endangered Species Act TODAY!
The Massachusetts Legislature is considering revisions to the state Endangered Species Act (MESA) which would result in an effective repeal of endangered species protections in the Commonwealth.
On June 14, the Joint Committee on Environment approved Senate Bill 1854, An Act relative to land takings (filed by Senator Gale Candaras). The bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The redraft will:
- Place impossible and unprecedented requirements on the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW) to be completed in 7 months, effectively undoing current protections for the 435 species of native animals and plants at risk in Massachusetts.
- Inject uncertainty, delays and conflict in the project review process, leading to potential fines and lawsuits against landowners and developers.
- Up-end long-standing appeal procedures and case law putting DFW on different footing than every other agency in the Commonwealth.
This unfunded agency mandate would create an unworkable system leaving endangered species unprotected. To learn more, read the letter in opposition signed by 72 conservation and sportsmen’s organizations, which includes a bill summary and FAQ. Here is the most recent SB1854 text.
PLEASE ACT NOW!
We urge you to contact your state representative and senator - by phone, email or mail – today. Ask them to protect endangered species and oppose SB1854, An Act relative to land takings and ask them to communicate their position to leadership. In the House, that's Speaker DeLeo and Chairman of House Ways and Means Brian Dempsey and in the Senate, that's Senate President Murray and Chairman of Senate Ways and Means Stephen Brewer.
Find out who your legislators are and how to contact them here: www.malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator
We expect the bill to be sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means this week and the bill may get a new number. We will keep you posted.
Thank you for stepping up to protect endangered species!