An Act to Increase the Readability of Legislation aka the Plain English Bill

Training session Mon Jan 16 at 4:30 pm.


This bill is not housing related, except for the fact that housing bills tend to be too complicated for the average renter or for many of us landlords to follow. Even professionals find it tedious and time consuming to trace bills that read, "At the end of the third sentence of section 3, insert the phrase 'or six months, whichever is longer'. "

Supported by Staff
MassLandlords staff drafted or participated materially in the creation of bill text below. Members will be polled at the next update of the policy priorities survey.
Bill Text May Change
The legislative process involves many changes to most bills. Our goal with bill explainers like this is to communicate core concepts assuming final wording is beyond our control. If you feel we missed or misunderstood a core concept about this bill, please contribute to this explainer by emailing or by using the support widget on this page. Pointing out typos or poor drafting is appreciated on green bills (we wrote or support).

Full Text of the Plain English Bill

To be posted.

Explanation of the Plain English Bill

Meaning and significance
This long sentence does several things to bills:

  • Each bill has to be easy to read.
  • All added words will appear as underline or similar.
  • All deleted words will show up as strikethrough or similar.
  • This applies to all bills, including bills that change laws and bill amendments.
  • If a bill relies on definitions established elsewhere, those definitions must be repeated in the bill.
  • Any bill that wasn't easy to read when it was filed cannot pass into law.
  • If the legislature ignores the easy read requirement and passes the law anyway, the court can overturn the law.
  • Everyone should be able to participate in our democracy by reading and understanding changes to the law.
  • We shouldn't need a law degree to understand and follow the law.