Legislative Team Ponders Priorities for Legislation and Implementation

Posted on Feb 9, 2023 | Legislative News

Out of more than 6,000 bills submitted in the Commonwealth’s 2023-24 legislative session, the ECA Mass Legislative Team has identified 580 climate-related bills. (Any bill submitted in both the House and Senate gets counted as one by our math.) Coming after the passage of the Roadmap and Clean Energy and Offshore Wind laws in the last session, many of these bills address steps needed to meet our GHG emission targets, such as  electrifying the MBTA commuter rail and regional transit systems, incentivizing clean heat alternatives, promoting net zero building standards, and increasing cleantech investments with a green bank.

Our next step is to review these bills and propose a short list for ECA Mass advocacy in this session. Each of our working groups (transportation, buildings, energy, green bank, natural solutions, and budget) will be recommending priority bills in their sector to the Legislative Team soon. We also will be looking at some plastics, recycling, environmental justice, adaptation, and carbon pricing bills. To help align our legislative priorities with those of our allies and to get their insights on climate policy issues, Legislative Team members are building relationships with leaders in Massachusetts climate organizations, from 350 Mass to the Acadia Center to the Zero Emission Vehicle Coalition.

The Legislative Team also will be focusing on the efforts of the Healey administration, municipalities and others to implement the measures required by legislation passed last session and by the 2025/2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP). Each of our working groups will be dividing their attention between currently debated bills and the implementation challenge. This will require tracking rulemaking and budget allocation, providing testimony at hearings, and creating actions for ECA Mass members to engage key stakeholders. Since this is a big task, working with our allies will be particularly important. Tracking and advocating for implementation is new territory for the Legislative Team, and we will be exploring and developing strategies for this in the months to come.

If you have been thinking about stepping up your involvement in ECA Mass legislative or implementation action, NOW is a great time to explore the many options to get engaged. Whether you have a few hours per month or even more time, we need your help. Contact Roger Luckmann (roger.luckmann@umassmed.edu) to learn more about the opportunities.

Jeff Clark and Roger Luckmann, ECA Mass Legislative Team