Updated: Thursday, 10 Jan 2013, 7:42 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 10 Jan 2013, 3:53 PM EST
BOSTON (WWLP) - Environmentalists are pitching several bills to lawmakers to kick-start the new session of the Legislature this year; dealing with a range of tropics from improved land use to energy and animal rights.
Advocates are supporting everything from creating more compact urban communities, to protecting old growth forests, to increasing fines against illegal hunting.
Rep. Denise Andrews (D-Orange) said that Massachusetts has strong land conservation laws, but they need to be balanced with economic development.
“We live in a beautiful place because we've secured land. We have quality water, quality air, gorgeous stars at night. The offset is we haven't grown density in population or opportunities, so we've got to look at how do we do both,” Andrews said.
One of the many bills being advanced proposes to encourage the use of plug-in electric vehicles, to reduce the dependence on gas.
In separate proposals, animal rights advocates joined environmentalists to promote bills that ban extreme confinement of farm animals, and encourage funds to protect lands inhabited by wildlife.