August 2, 2020. It happened! With three days left before the scheduled end of the legislative session on July 31st, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee favorably reported out “An Act creating a 2050 Roadmap to a Clean and Thriving Commonwealth” the top legislative priority for ECA Mass. The bill includes changes and additions to the original 2050 Roadmap bill but maintains the key elements.
- A statewide emissions limit of net zero by 2050.
- Aggressive interim emissions limits for 2030 and 2040.
- A people-centered plan to reach our climate goal.
The bill also contains several new provisions focused on ensuring equity for Environmental Justice (EJ) communities and low-income households and to enable “grid modernization” to prepare for the increased contribution of renewables and the increased demand from “electrification.”
Over 100 amendments were filed to the bill and the House worked into the evening on Thursday and Friday to review the proposed changes. Finally, at 9:30 PM on Friday the 31st, the full House voted on the bill and it passed 142 to 17!
The bill is now H.4912 (an overview of the bill and selected amendments is here). The next step is to reconcile it with the Senate’s net zero bill (S.2500 – the Next-Generation Climate Policy) in conference before the final bill emerges. So, there is more work to be done.
This is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of your advocacy throughout this unprecedented legislative session. You have demonstrated the power of the voice of the elders!