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MASSACHUSETTS SIERRA CLUB
10 Milk Street, Ste 417, Boston, MA 02108-4600 • Tel:(617) 423-5775 •

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Legislative Action Committee

The Massachusetts Chapter works to pass important environmental bills and the state and local level. To get involved in our legislative program, please contact us. See the contacts page for more information.

The Sierra Club actively participates in this process by:

  • Authoring Legislation
  • Offering Written and Oral Testimony on Key Bills
  • Lobbying Members of the Legislature

Volunteer to Help The Legislative Action Committee

We need volunteers who are passionate about key environmental challenges in Massachusetts to “adopt” one or more bills so we can help it pass successfully. You don’t need to be an expert, just someone who cares about issues such as keeping our air and water clean; safeguarding our families from toxic chemicals; preserving open space; reducing waste; protecting wildlife; and more.

Typically, volunteers start by selecting one (or more) of the Sierra-supported bills that they care about. Before we offer testimony, we prepare written testimony, typically 2-3 pages and footnoted. If you enjoy research and can help is, this is our greatest need! If you wish, you can also deliver your testimony live at the committee hearing.

To learn how you can get involved, please e-mail legislate@sierraclubmass2.org

How Our Legislative Process Works

Our state legislature runs in 2-year cycles. All bills, except "emergency bills" that are to be considered during each session MUST be filed in the first two weeks of the 2-year session. Within approximately one month, the bills are assigned to one of the legislature's committees, e.g. Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. A hearing is scheduled where the public is free to speak on the bills' merits. Hearing can be held very quickly at the beginning of the session or up to 18 months into the session. After the hearing, the committee will meet to vote on whether they recommend the bill for passage - or give a negative report - or say nothing - or "send to study". In most cases, "send to study" is the equivalent of doing nothing. If a bill receives a positive recommendation, it's typically sent to the Ways and Means Committee where it receives further review. A bill can also be sent to other committees. Finally, if all committees agree, a bill can go to each body: the house and the senate. If they both agree, and their versions are identical, the bill is then sent to the Governor for final approval.

 

See Also

2011 Bills

The Legislative Action Committee

TAKE ACTION:  Contact your State Representative and Senator and ask them to cosponsor all these important bills. Click here to contact them or call 617-722-2000.

2009-2010 Victories - and a few loose ends

2009-2010 bills that we worked on

 

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