Do you remember voting on a ballot question that dealt with making it mandatory for farmers to give chickens more space per bird? Well, those chickens have come home to roost.

That geriatric saying normally means that a past action has come back to haunt you. That past action in this case was the passage of the question. The haunt is the soaring price local eggs will cost working families, unless the Massachusetts Senate takes up a bill revamping the 2016 ballot question.

The law will set forth minimum standards for, among other animals, egg-laying hens. But our state has a big problem that this Senate bill can fix. The obstacle is the Commonwealth's standards are incompatible with regulations across the country, and in time that will drive egg prices up.

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The law demands 1.5 square feet of space per bird. But reducing the standard down to one square foot, if the hen is kept in an aviary barn, gives the farmer a fair chance to succeed. Be that as it may, if the new bill does not pass, there are not enough egg producers, in or out of state, that would be in compliance with Massachusetts regulations. That means there'll be a shortage of eggs coming here from other states, leading to everyday families not buying eggs as much because they've become cost-prohibitive.

Here's hoping the lawmakers act in good conscience.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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The National Association of REALTORS calculated the fourth quarter 2020 median home values by applying the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index growth to 2019 housing and population data from the American Community Survey and determining an estimate of 2020 median home values for all counties where data is available. The monthly mortgage payments for fourth-quarter 2019 and fourth quarter 2020 were calculated for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 10% down payment.

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