As the Legislature enters the second month of the new legislative session, I am proud to announce that I have filed more than 80 bills to pursue a diverse range of policy initiatives. Chief among them are bills that would help prevent abuse of persons with disabilities, deter the illegal harming of wildlife and curb college campus sexual violence.
The start of a new session is always an exciting time that includes crafting a legislative agenda and filing bills with the hope of ushering them through to the Governor's desk. I look toward to advancing legislation that responds to the needs of local residents while also tackling overarching issues facing our Commonwealth as a whole.
In an effort to protect persons with disabilities, I have filed legislation that would establish an abuse registry within the Department of Developmental Services. The registry would identify individuals who have been found to have committed abuse against disabled persons in an effort to screen prospective employees who intend to work within the licensed caretaker field. The bill resembles protections already enacted in other states across the country.
I have also re-filed legislation to prevent sexual violence on college campuses. The comprehensive bill, which advanced through the Senate last session and ultimately did not receive a vote by the House of Representatives, would codify federal requirements, and establish new state-level policies for all higher education institutions in the Commonwealth.
As a former Environmental Police Officer, I also recognize that existing anti-poaching laws have remained widely unchanged since the 1930s. As such, I have re-filed legislation that would address the illegal harming or killing of wildlife. The legislation elevates existing penalties for individuals convicted of illegally harming or killing wildlife. The bill also requires the Commonwealth to enter into a nationwide law enforcement network known as the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. Massachusetts remains one of only two nonmember states and the only northeast state that does not participate. The Compact allows for reciprocity with other states for the purpose of license suspensions to prevent wildlife violators who have lost their hunting, trapping or fishing privileges from circumventing license revocations.
In the coming weeks, legislation filed during the 20119-2020 legislative session will be referred to legislative committees for review. Additional information regarding each of the bills I filed is below. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, or if my office may be of assistance to you.
MICHAEL O. MOORE
Second Worcester District