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Fair Climate legislation- Massachusetts

Massachusetts Mothers Out Front's Three Legislative Priorities

The Legislative Team has proactively advocated for three legislative goals — environmental justice, carbon pricing, and the safe transition from retail gas to clean energy.

The legislative process requires adapting to changes as bills win and lose support, as bill elements get combined, as coalitions emerge, and as strategies evolve.  Covid-19 has occupied most of the legislature’s attention in the past few months and has influenced our strategy as well. Rather than restricting our focus to specific bills, our team is staying true to our values and goals while staying flexible about the most effective route to influence emerging legislation.

The State Senate put out a strong climate bill (S.2500) and now we need to get the House to step up. We pushed for key elements of the FUTURE Act included in Senate bills. Now we’ll do the same in the House where it is stuck in committee. There is a gas safety bill that is progressing in the House which is the logical place to include amendments for a fair gas transition. We will follow the lead of the Gas Leaks Allies on their decision to focus efforts there.

Since our volunteer capacity is finite and the legislative process is complex, we have benefited from participating in coalitions, especially the full-time staff of many advocacy organizations. We rely on them to organize virtual meetings, provide updates and strategic guidance. We are grateful for the special interest and knowledge of a few Mothers Out Front members who have contributed to and are tracking legislative initiatives. We also appreciate the need to transcend the legislative “session” and plan for continuity.

Thank you in advance for joining us as we get closer to passing impactful climate policy in Massachusetts in 2020!

1. Environmental Justice (click here)

  • S.464/H.4264, An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth, would codify environmental justice policies. It has been moved to both chambers’ Ways and Means Committees. The Senate’s climate bill, An Act setting next-generation climate policy, S.2500, included elements of the bill such as representation of environmental justice communities in an advisory body and mandating equity in distribution of benefits and reduction of harm in communities disproportionately impacted by climate.

2. Carbon Pricing (click here) 

  • H.2810, An Act to promote green infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions, is stuck in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE), and is unlikely to move forward in this session. So the hope lies in attaching amendments to another bill.

3. FUTURE of Gas (click here) 

  •  H.2849/S.1940 focuses on transitioning the gas utilities to selling renewable heat as well as safety and accountability issues in the meantime (FUTURE is an acronym: For a Utility Transition to Using Renewable Energy). In the Senate, important parts of the bill were included in S. 2500. In the House the bill remains in TUE. In the House, the bill remains in TUE. Key components may be added as amendments to other bills.

Other Bills We Support

In addition to our three legislative priorities for which we are harnessing Mother Power to pass this session, we have also endorsed several other bills. These are not bills that the Legislative Team is actively engaged with, but we want to lend the Mothers Out Front name on a list or letter from supporting organizations. Recently we endorsed:

Other bills that we have endorsed:

Interested in a bill that we haven’t endorsed?

  • We have a process for vetting bills to support. We need at least 48 hours if there is a deadline to sign on to a coalition letter. Contact Andra at amherstamr@gmail.com.

Take Action

  • Would you like to be added to a list of people who particularly want to show up for legislative events like hearings?
    • Please let Andra know at amherstamr@gmail.com. The Legislative Team will use the list to send a special invitation to you for events at the State House, in your district, and online (like webinars on bills).

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