The House and Senate have each passed bills to combat mosquito-borne diseases, and the two branches must now reconcile differences between the bills before a final version can be sent to the governor.

The House, Senate, and Joint Committee on Public Health made significant changes to the original bill, adding notice requirements, creating opt-out processes, and increasing transparency about the actions of the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board.

The bill would also create a task force to study the Commonwealth’s mosquito control process and recommend reforms.

The Senate passed its bill on June 11, and the House passed a slightly different version on July 9. The bill was originally filed by Gov. Charlie Baker in April.

In his filing letter, Gov. Baker said, “This legislation would empower the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (“SRB”) to engage in mosquito control activities across the Commonwealth, including in areas where there is no legislative authority to take action today, when the Commissioner of Public Health determines that an elevated risk of arbovirus exists.”

The MMA had opposed the bill in testimony submitted on May 11, seeking changes that were ultimately made during the legislative process.

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