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Massachusetts House Amends Area Requirement Arising From Ballot

10/07/2021

Following the action of the Massachusetts State Senate, the State House agreed 156 to 1 to amend the 2016 ballot that required 1.5 square foot of floor area for hens producing eggs to be sold in the Bay State. The two versions of the bill will have to be reconciled before enactment by the Governor.

 

The change reduced the floor area requirement from 1.5 square foot to 1.0 square foot provided hens in aviaries have unfettered access to vertical space.

 

The modification in area requirement incorporated in the ballot avoided an almost complete cessation in the supply of eggs to the state beginning in 2022, coupled with a predicted increase in price to consumers.

 

Ballot initiatives invite extreme pressure from advocacy groups and result in emotional responses by voters. Such legislation is fraught with unintended consequences.