With the end of 2022 comes a new year and a new legislative session! The Massachusetts 2023-2024 legislative session began on January 4. With that comes new legislation to help animals, as well as a fresh start for refiled bills that did not pass last session. We will continue to advocate for changes in the law to help protect companion animals, such as those in kennels and at daycare facilities, wild animals used in traveling shows, and animals used in research, among many other issues. Each session brings bills to make positive change, but also regressive bills that would allow more harmful activities. We will continue to defend trapping restrictions for wildlife and defend the ban on Sunday hunting.
Along with learning about new bills, now is also a great time to become familiar with your state senator and representative. Redistricting was completed last session and went into effect for the 2022 elections, meaning that you could now live in a new district with new officials representing you. Make sure to look up who represents you in case it has changed at malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator. Many legislators have personal websites in addition to their official state webpage, which often share more information, such as their background, family, hobbies, office hours, etc. Most legislators also have a Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter account. By following them you can get regular updates on legislative movement, community issues, or general news announcements. Posts can also include information on upcoming events, other ways to participate in advocacy, or resources about current topics. You can also follow along with our Animal Scorecard during co-sponsor time (January-February 2023) to see if your legislators sign on to support animal bills, or have in the past! Getting to know them now will make asking for their support on animal protection legislation easier down the road!
If this is the year you want to get move involved in animal advocacy, make sure to join our MSPCA Animal Action Team. You will receive calls to action when we need constituent support for important issues, alerts about events we hold like Lobby Day (June 7) and advocacy trainings, and other animal protection news from across the Commonwealth! You can sign up at www.mspca.org/jointheteam. Looking to go a little further? The MSPCA Advocacy Team has created a new volunteer program seeking Community Advocacy Leaders who will play a key role in helping pass state and local legislation to protect animals. These Leaders will work within their legislative district to ensure their state representative and state senator know and support animal protection legislation. To learn more or become a Community Advocacy Leader, please email Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your name, address, phone number, and a little about why you are interested in helping animals. Legislators respond to their constituents—we cannot make progress for animals without you!