May 5, 2020. ECA Mass remains committed to advocacy and support for state legislation which moves climate change goals forward. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MA legislators have not been able to move on any bills except by consensus and those have been related to the COVID emergency. Rules for legislating remotely have now been put in place. The state budget is the next focus of the legislature. It is anticipated the budget process will be difficult given the expected shortfall in revenue. Nonetheless, House leadership has expressed support for passing climate legislation this session.
The ECA Mass legislative team has been working with Representative Meschino and other climate activist groups to advocate for the House Ways and Means Committee to get the 2050 Roadmap bill (H.3983) reported out. Key elements are net zero emissions by 2050, a robust planning process with deadlines and interim goals that will lock into law the process the administration has started. If reported out of House Ways and Means and approved by the full house, the bill would then be reconciled with the Senate’s net zero emissions bill (S.2477). Both the Governor and House Speaker have expressed support for a net zero emissions target.
Another bill supported by ECA, the GreenWorks bill (H.3997), which would provide funding to communities for clean energy and resiliency, passed in the House and is now in the Senate Bonding and Capital Expenditures committee.
Other climate bills prioritized by ECA Mass, including Carbon Pricing (H.2810), and Utility Transition to Renewable Energy (FUTURE, H.2849) are still in the TUE committee (Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy). Their future this legislative session is unclear.