MA Legislation

Please see the why page for some reasons to support these bills, resources for more, and the home page for the latest action updates.

SENATORS CAN COSPONSOR!

Please contact your state senators to support the below bills! Cosponsorship helps! See this post for ideas.

2021-2022 BILLS PROPOSED

We will share lobbying info online until our email list starts working, focusing on starred bills! We would like to receive copies of written testimony for our starred bills as evidence (mail to: LTL, c/o K. Beatty, 149 Central Pk Dr, Holyoke, MA 01040).

Here is a full, updated list of the below legislation: ma-legislation-PDF

For the starred bills, please mail a copy of your testimony to us as well, as proof of submission since some were not counted towards all bills last year. Guidance will be forthcoming. Mail to: LTL, c/o K. Beatty, 149 Central Pk Dr, Holyoke, MA 01040.

Unless attending a public hearing, testimony should be submitted by mail or email to your legislators and the committee currently assigned to study and report on the bills. All testimony can be submitted to the committee up until and during the public hearing. Contact information for your legislator can be found online here.

Most bills are now assigned to the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity. The 3 utility bills, listed last in green, are now assigned to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.
Contact information and upcoming hearings are listed at the links in bold above, as well as links for the individual members of each committee. When we have more time we will post email addresses here, even if email isn't foolproof or always read!

 

H. 114 An Act studying technology impacts on police, firefighters, and emergency and security personnel

Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty

Summary: Invites police and firefighters to examine how to address health impacts of technology with a few experts and 1 black lives matter representative.
History: The IAFF, which represents many MA firefighter unions, is officially against antennas on fire stations. Emergency personnel use great deal of wireless & electric equipment, more so than your average person. There are health concerns, so the people using or exposed to the equipment should have a say in those exposures.

H.108 An Act supporting patients and residents suffering from environmental pollutants and modern technologies, e.g. wireless.
Sponsor: Rep. Patricia Duffy and citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: Doctors, nurses, and practical nurses are trained regarding health impacts of wireless & certain kinds of electricity, and insurance covers patient education on the same. Patients with leukemia & lymphoma are given extra help. Nursing homes and medical providers are to work towards reducing such exposures. Nutritional therapy is to adopted.
History: Kirstin put forward several bills to request attention from medical providers to electromagnetic health in previous sessions, but this bill attaches the changes to specific existing laws as education.

H. 105 An Act reducing non-ionizing radiation such as wireless from early to higher education.
Sponsor: Rep. Pat Duffy & citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: The bill requires hard-wiring broadband services and reducing non-ionizng radiation in higher education and public schools. Departments or boards from early to higher education are to create guidelines and require those easy and cheap to do, setting reasonable deadlines for all other recommendations. Section 1, pasted further below, provides general reasons for the bill.
History: Previous iterations of a bill to restrict school exposures have been put forward by resident and co-chair Kirstin Beatty and by Rep. Carolyn Dykema. Rep. Dykema's bills have proposed the education departments to examine how to best use wireless, while Kirstin's have sought to eliminate wireless. Questions remain as to whether wireless can be used safely, and we think enacting a variety of practices to reduce existing wireless exposure is difficult and misguided in contrast to simply hard-wiring the internet, so we are not supporting Rep. Dykema’s bill.

SECTION 1 EXCERPT OF BILL:

Whereas, FCC wireless guidelines fail to recognize harm from wireless, despite evidence from credible institutions including the U.S. National Toxicological Program and the Ramazzini Institute.

Whereas, high fields and poor power quality from electricity can injure electronics and human health, the latter acknowledged in part by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2010.

Whereas, problematic exposures of wireless and electricity are tied not just to cancer, but to ADHD, miscarriage, asthma, Alzheimer’s Disease, learning disabilities, obesity, multiple sclerosis, congenital heart disease, etc.

Whereas, legal challenges have been filed or are in process with regards to non-ionizing radiation worker’s compensation, personal injury, international treaties, agency obligations, consumer product warnings, and the American with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act. Worker’s compensation cases have already been won.

Whereas, many countries have set non-ionizing exposures very far below the limit set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission; several countries prohibit wireless in public schools; California and several countries limit high fields from electricity - yet Massachusetts has done nothing.

Whereas, the federal government forces wireless into public schools by subsidizing only wireless connectivity through its federal E-rate program.

Whereas, schools should have clearly set objectives and support from the department and board of elementary and secondary education to reduce non-ionizing radiation exposures.

Whereas, reducing non-ionizing radiation is feasible and recommended by many experts.

Whereas, the mission of the department and board of elementary and secondary education fails to acknowledge any role in fostering environmental health and a positive school culture in public schools.

H.112 An Act hard-wiring state offices and investing in hard-wired communications
Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: Massworks, Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the executive office of info tech, the director of wireless & telecommunications -- all are to use or invest in wired, not wireless tech. The MBI board constitution is slightly changed to bring in public health and privacy advocates. The Ed. commissioner is to develop a plan to hard-wire public educational institutions. Also, requires an annual, public audit report from telecommunication companies and utilities, and sets penalties for lack of compliance, changing from an optional audit.
Background: (1) Wireless is harmful. (2) Telecommunications monopolies have allowed deterioration of underground phone lines and service and have concealed cross subsidies to avoid taxes -- auditing is necessary. Still, we'd like to add a few more improvements to tighten the auditing section.

H. 113 An Act requiring wireless insurance.

Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty

Why? Insurance companies will provide oversight and incentive to limit the most dangerous exposures, and the insurance provides protections. Summary: Providers of antennas for telecommunication, video, and television providers are required to carry insurance, including commercial liability without an exclusion for health impacts. Personal devices and appliances are exempted.

H. 109 An Act improving non-ionizing radiation regulation and monitoring.
Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: Supports reporting to the state of all cellular infrastructure with names of owners, etc., public mapping of sites, qui tam exposure monitoring, state exposure monitoring, a public listing of consultants, dedicated monitoring employees, and allows for state fines -- adaptation of original statutes.

Reasoning from section 1 of the proposed law:

Whereas, the radiation regulation and licensing authority should be separate from the authority for civil penalties to prevent corruption.

Whereas, the FCC fails to regulate many different non-ionizing radiation frequencies, nor does any there federal agency do so.

Whereas, consumers should know if an appliance or device is wireless, the type of exposure, and have a choice to make safer purchases.

Whereas, a registry of cell towers is necessary for study of non-ionizing radiation health effects.

Whereas, residents should have the right to be informed and ability to sue if legal radiation limits are exceeded.

Whereas, other countries have recognized hazards of wireless by adopting more stringent limits and by limiting use in sensitive locations such as schools and hospitals.

H.110 An Act halting 5G high frequencies and close proximity antennas
Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty
Why? Hard-wiring alone will not stop residential 5G or more cell towers. Because the FCC makes saying no tough and for some new technologies it bypasses local permitting, the state must act.
Summary: This bill requires a timeline for removal of wireless facilities with a focus on 6 GHz frequencies and higher as well as for microcell removal. A typo needs fixing and obscures the requirement for identification of detailed information on ownership of facilities, with fines required if not shared. Certification may be provided for non-wireless products, etc., and education shall be provided. The last section allows a lessee renting property and a mobile services customer to cancel the contract with service providers.

History: Please see current lawsuits on this topic. Also, the bill includes some background as follows.
SECTION 1. The legislature finds and confirms all of the following:-
Whereas, federal telecommunications law recognizes the right of states to “impose, on a competitively neutral basis” requirements to protect public safety and welfare (47 U.S. Code § 253).
Whereas, “promoting safety of life and property” is one purpose of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in supporting wire and radio communication service, the other being national defense (47 U.S. Code § 151).
Whereas, the FCC is not a medical agency and has failed to consult with proper authorities on the safety of wire and radio communication services.
Whereas, based on responses of the ruling judges, the FCC is likely to lose a procedural case highlighting its failures in pronouncing current wire and radio communication service safe despite substantive research and docket commentary to the contrary (Environmental Health Trust, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, Nos. 20-1025 and 20-1138).
Whereas, non-ionizing radiation exposures have exponentially increased since 2010 from FCC new frequency band auctions, fast-track approval of tens of thousands of 5G satellites, regulations designed to bypass municipal zoning, outdated exposure guidelines, and allowances for cell tower antennas on street lights and other nearby installations.
Whereas, NASA, the Department of Defense, scientists, and other stakeholders have warned that the use of new frequency bands risks destroying functionality of weather forecasting, GPS, railroads scheduling, critical astronomy, aviation, cybersecurity, and utility infrastructure communications.
Whereas, scientific experts warn and some have confirmed that extremely high exposures, potentially exceeding outdated FCC guidelines, result from either or both (a) the use of new millimeter wave frequencies and (b) the density and proximity of cell tower transmitters for 5G, 6G, and the Internet of Things.
Whereas, heating of bees and other insects rises alongside higher frequencies from 6 GHz – hence, the use of millimeter waves and other high frequencies for 5G is harmful to pollination, soil, and life (Thielens et al., Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz, Scientific Reports, 2018).
Whereas, scientists have confirmed millimeter waves and other high frequencies can heat and damage skin even at levels within FCC guidelines (Neufeld and Kuster, 2018; Betzalel et al., 2017, 2018).
Whereas, the U.S. and other countries have used millimeter waves at high power to painfully disable opposition – hacking software systems could turn residential 5G antennas into weapons targeted at individuals or groups.
Even without the concerns of 5G and 6G, our exposures from personal devices and ambient radiation are problematic as peer-reviewed research indicates effects of increased cancer, dementia, learning disability, depression, infertility, autoimmune disease, pain, et cetera, that is most harmful to vulnerable populations such as youth, the elderly, and infants.
Whereas, all have certain inalienable rights, among them life and the pursuit of happiness, and the Commonwealth is charged with securing these rights even if the United States fails.
Resolved, that the policy goals of this act shall be to halt especially dangerous non-ionizing radiation exposures, in particular new exposures approved by the FCC in the last decade.

H.111 An Act requiring better power quality and reduced radiation from utility infrastructure.
Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: Requires utilities protect privacy and insure electromagnetic public exposures fall within ranges of 'slight concern' based on Building Biology guidelines.

S. 2204 An Act relative to smart meters

Sponsor: Senator Michael Moore

Summary: This bill is meant to allow individuals to opt out of a wireless smart meter at no cost. This is a very good bill, although it does not address apartment dwellers who may have 20 or more smart meters on one wall.
History: This bill was written by concerned Worcester residents together with Senator Michael Moore - this bill has been presented in several sessions, each time gathering more support and cosponsors.

S. 2195 - Senator John Keenan is putting forward a bill to require railroad antennas have local zoning approval BUT ONLY for Quincy, Braintree, Abington, and Rockland.
Before telecommunications & utilities joint committee.
History - it did not pass last year, a sign of an intractable legislature.

H. 143 An Act internet access on private ways
Requires internet service in public rights of way – problematic due to internet service equating to powerful antennas potentially just a block or two apart in residential areas.
Sponsors: Representatives David T. Vieira , Dylan A. Fernandes

HD.2898 An Act relative to a 5G technology task forces

Bill problematic due to 5G equating to powerful antennas likely just a block or two apart in residential areas. This bill allows industry to work with legislators on crafting 5G laws under the auspices of 'equity' for providers in rolling out 5G. Main Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Jones Other Sponsors: Rep. Susan Williams Gifford, Maria Duaime Robinson

S. 186 Resolve relative to disclosure of radio frequency notifications
Last session we worked to oppose this bill – we tried to get in contact with the sponsor without real success. The biggest issue is all these nominations are by the governor directly or indirectly and his conduct so far has not been supportive. Another issue is that the first objective is to look at how this impacts industry, when the first objective should be to look at how to rescue public health. Kirstin has written a post that discusses issues with such commissions, and this bill. Sponsor: Senator Julian Cyr

H. 2351 An Act relative to a special commission to study electric and magnetic fields
This utility infrastructure investigation lacks full independence. The American Cancer Society has licensing agreements and donations from utilities and the Environmental League of Massachusetts may also be questionable as it works closely with a corporate council, at one time included a smart meter expert in its administration, and has industries like electric cars as top priorities, rather than environmental health. The board also includes a lawyer who has provided big wins for utilities. Sponsor: Rep. David Paul Linsky

H. 115 An Act relative to best management practices for wireless in schools and public institutions of higher education

This bill mistakenly suggests wireless is safe because it is to continue wireless with modifications for safety. Supporting this bill gives an illusion wireless is fine. Rep. Dykema does not seem to understand how terrible wireless exposures can be. Supporting the other bills above to hard wire schools is more useful. Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Dykema

Contact information for your legislator can be found online here. The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure is currently assigned S. 220 & H. 341, and the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity currently assigned H. 136 & H. 130.

All testimony can be submitted to the current committee up until and during the public hearing.

Unless attending a public hearing, testimony should be submitted by mail or email to your legislators and the committee currently assigned to study and report on the bills.
Contact information and upcoming hearings are listed at the links in bold above, as well as links for the individual members of each committee. If we have more time we will post email addresses here, even if email isn't foolproof or always read!

H.130 An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way
Sponsors: Joan Meschino , Paul F. Tucker
Summary: Taxes at 5% use of public rights-of-way by streaming providers. Gives state right to audit profits.
S.2200 - Summary: Similar, but in senate. Sponsors: Jason Lewis, Kenneth L. Gordon

No Content

For the starred bills, please mail a copy of your testimony to us as well, as proof of submission since some were not counted towards all bills last year. Mail to: LTL, c/o K. Beatty, 149 Central Pk Dr, Holyoke, MA 01040.

All of these bills are currently assigned to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Contact information for your legislator can be found online here. All testimony can be submitted to the current committee up until and during the public hearing.
Unless attending a public hearing, testimony should be submitted by mail or email to your legislators and the committee currently assigned to study and report on the bills.
Contact information and upcoming hearings are listed at the links in bold above, as well as links for the individual members of each committee. When or if we have more time we will post email addresses here, even if email isn't foolproof or always read!

H. 895 An Act ending water fluoridation
Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty
Summary: Ends water fluoridation, advises to restrict such exposures to infants and pregnant women.
Why? There is a current federal court case where the EPA appears to be losing because of the judicial statements and EPA's acknowledgements, yet ending water fluoridation is hard under the current statute. More information on the trial is available at Food & Water Watch or at Fluoride Action. Note fluoridated water also has detrimental effects on fish fertility.

Reasoning provided in section 1 of the bill:

Whereas, fluoride’s purported benefits are topical, and therefore no reason exists for water fluoridation and ingestion.

Whereas, in an ongoing trial in the 9th Circuit, Judge Chen has indicated the Environmental Protection Agency has lost in disputing that water fluoridation poses a substantive risk under the Toxic Substances Control Act (Food & Water Action, Inc. et al. vs. Environmental Protection Agency).

Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency has claimed to Judge Chen that the Toxic Substances Control Act requires an impossible burden of proof to allow ending water fluoridation.

Whereas, a 2019 National Institutes of Health funded study in Canada found that babies fed formula mixed with fluoridated water averaged 4 IQ points less than those mixed with non-fluoridated water – losses of non-verbal IQ averaged 9 IQ points, reinforcing earlier studies (Till et al, 2019).

Whereas, a Canadian study found a nearly 300% higher risk of ADHD for children living in fluoridated areas, reinforcing earlier studies (Riddel et al, 2019).

Whereas, fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment, despite a lack of full public consent, lack of dose control, and lack of consideration for vulnerable individuals such as those with impaired kidney function.

H. 856 & S. 557 An Act Authorizing the Establishment of Old Growth Forest Reserves

Sponsor: Rep. Natalie Blais, Senator Adam Hinds

Summary: This protects state-owned old-growth forests in Massachusetts from timber cutting.
Why? Old-growth forests are rare and can't be replaced, providing vital biodiversity, forest genetics, carbon sinks, and more.

An Act to update the public shade tree law

Sponsors: Cindy Creem (S. 1323) Rep. Steven Owens (H.895)
Summary: No one may trim or cut down a municipal tree without municipal tree warden permission. Tree wardens may make regulations to be approved by town authorities. Why? Well, trees along sidewalks are being cut down to allow better 5G transmissions or to install close proximity antennas or for other construction.

An Act Establishing the Municipal Reforestation Program
Sponsors: Senator Creem (S.504) and Representatives Lewis, Ehrlich, and Owens (H. 905)
Summary: Each municipality creates a reforestation plan the state financially & technically supports, prioritizing needy.

S.556/H.937 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH BY ESTABLISHING AN ECOLOGICALLY BASED MOSQUITO MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN THE COMMONWEALTH.

These bills replace the Commonwealth’s expensive mosquito management system using highly toxic pesticides with one that is more ecologically responsible as well as effective, affordable, and scientifically based.

For more information about the harmful nature of pesticides please see https://www.beyondpesticides.org/resources/mosquitos-and-insect-borne-diseases/resources

Primary Sponsors: Representative Gouveia of Acton and Senator Hinds and Senator Adam G. Hinds

H.939 & S. 207 An Act for Massachusetts Toxic Free Kids
Sponsors: Representatives James Hawkins and Tami Gouveia; Senators Cindy F. Friedman & Joanne M. Comerford
Summary: Requires Department of Environmental Protection, working with Toxics Use Institute, to publish a list of toxics in children's toys, update every 4 years, and begin to set limits on sale.

For the starred bills, please mail a copy of your testimony to us as well, as proof of submission since some were not counted towards all bills last year. Mail to: LTL, c/o K. Beatty, 149 Central Pk Dr, Holyoke, MA 01040.

Contact information for your legislator can be found online here. The privacy and screen time bills currently assigned to the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity. The school recess bill is currently assigned the Joint Committee of Education.
Unless attending a public hearing, testimony should be submitted by mail or email to your legislators and the committee currently assigned to study and report on the bills. All testimony can be submitted to the committee up until and during the public hearing.
Contact information and upcoming hearings are listed at the links in bold above, as well as links for the individual members of each committee. If we have more time we will post email addresses here, even if email isn't foolproof or always read!

H. 106 An Act regulating screen time in early and K-12 education.

Sponsor: Citizen Kirstin Beatty

Summary: This bill allows school communities to set screen time limits, and sets limits on screen time in early education. The bill requires that Massachusetts state standards remove mandates for screen time from PreK on up, unless specific to the subject.

Reasoning provided in section 1 of the bill:

Whereas, insuring schools or school districts set a school screen time and cellphone limit requires that the community engages and agrees upon what those limits should be.

Whereas, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a 2019 study that found high levels of screen time reduces structural integrity in key brain areas responsible for literacy and language.

Whereas, the Massachusetts education standards mandate screen time: writing standards require students “use [digital tools (e.g. computers, mobile phones, cameras)] to convey messages in pictures and in words” in PreK; “explore a variety of digital tools” to write in Grade 1; and gather information from digital sources by Grade 3.

Whereas, information technology captures data for profiling, predictive analytics, and crime, and addictive persuasive design influences thoughts and behavior.

Whereas, the content of corporate programs has often been found to reflect corporate interests, be generic, and lack currency or individualization, yet EdTech is outside teacher and local control.

Whereas, integrating software learning into every subject takes time away from other subjects – software requires far too much time and energy to evaluate, regulate, learn, fix and maintain.

Whereas, an hour of videoconferencing or streaming emits 150 – 1,000 grams of carbon dioxide (a gallon of gasoline car exhaust emits about 8,887 grams), requires 2 – 12 liters of water, and demands a land area about the size of an iPad Mini (Obringer et al, 2021).

Whereas, mandates for screen time prevent alternative learning models that may be locally preferred, such as Montessori, Waldorf, or outdoor learning models.

Whereas, extended screen time is widely acknowledged as harmful to health due to time sitting, staring, blue light exposure, magnetic and electric fields, and lack of movement.

Reasons provided in section 1 of the bill:

H. 107 An Act regulating privacy and technology in education

Sponsor: Rep. Patricia Duffy and citizen Kirstin Beatty

Summary: This bill focuses on privacy protections in PreK-12 and higher education. Institutions are take steps to protect privacy, such as by setting data processing agreements with providers and, a key difference with other bills, using less tech when not necessary.
History: Many legislators have put forward various bills to protect privacy. This particular bill is written by resident and co-chair Kirstin Beatty. There was no template for the bill, but suggestions were included from a report by the Dutch Data Protection Authority regarding online voice and video calls and proctoring. Lawsuits are not discussed in this bill, as legal action could be a dealbreaker for passage.

H. 127 An Act relative to student and educator data privacy

Sponsors: Representatives Kate Lipper-Garabedian & Jeffrey N. Roy

Summary: Requires that K-12 educational data processors do not use data for ads or sales, secure data, and allows suits for violations. Could accompany school privacy bill H. 107 as well. Lawsuits were not included in H.107, since that could be a deal breaker preventing passage of the bill and since last session a privacy bill including lawsuits failed. Both bills have different elements for privacy, and if both passed that would be terrific.

An Act relative to recess for elementary school children

Numerous Sponsors: Rep. Decker, etc. (H.566)Sen. Rush, etc. (S.383)

Summary: Provide at least 20 minutes of recess a day to grade 5, no reduction in recess time.

 

LEGISLATIVE LINKS

PAST BILLS (NO LONGER ACTIVE)

The website went down and some of the information was lost. Replacement of lost sections will take some time.