Lawmakers look to make March maple month

State House News Service
Friday, March 02, 2018

March means many things for many people, but for Bay State environmental officials the month has been synonymous with maple syrup for at least about a decade.

On Thursday, lawmakers sent Gov. Charlie Baker a bill that would codify the existing practice of designating March as maple month and direct the governor to annually commend maple syrup producers with a proclamation.

An earlier version of the legislation filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik would make the brown, gooey pancake topping the official sweetener of the Commonwealth, but the bill was redrafted by House Bills on Third Reading Chairman Ted Speliotis to sidestep that question.

The Baker administration has annually issued a proclamation declaring March as maple month, and the Patrick administration did the same, dating back to at least 2008.

Maple sap flows best when the nights are cold and the days are warm, according to the administration. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Lawmakers attached an emergency preamble to the bill, meaning that it would take effect this March if the governor signs it into law.