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On Friday, December 4, 2020, the Massachusetts Conference Committee charged with resolving differences in the House and Senate bills prioritizing funding for state programs in FY 2021, released HB 5164.  Among the funding included, not less than $50,000 will be expended for the NEADS Inc. “service dogs for veterans program” to train service dogs for veterans.

Despite projecting that tax revenues this year could fall anywhere from nearly $3 billion to $5 billion below expectations amid the pandemic without another federal stimulus package from Congress, the Massachusetts Legislature immediately voted HB 5164 favorably and sent it to Governor Baker for approval.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) had issued an alert in November regarding Amendment #19, “Service Dogs for Veterans” to provide not less than $85,000 for the NEADS Service Dogs for Veterans program to train service dogs for veterans.

State leaders’ support for these special working dogs is truly appreciated and AKC GR wishes to express our gratitude to the Massachusetts residents who contacted their state representative in support of Amendment #19 last month.

For more information on these or other legislative issues in Massachusetts, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or