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Legislature Re-Enacts Climate Bill, Baker Returns with Amendments

By January 19, 2021 No Comments

Just two weeks after Governor Baker vetoed an omnibus bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the development of clean energy, the Legislature re-enacted it and sent it back to him to sign, veto, or return with amendments. On February 8, the governor sent the bill back to the Legislature with targeted amendments that seek to take aggressive, science-based climate action while protecting the state’s economy, including housing production.

During the ten days the governor had to consider the bill (S. 9, An Act to create a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy), the HBRAMA was actively engaged with his administration in discussing potential amendments that would mitigate to the extent possible the adverse effects the bill’s mandate for the adoption of a “net-zero stretch energy code” have on the cost of new housing. The HBRAMA is pleased that many of its technical suggestion were among the amendments proposed by the governor, including giving the Department of Energy Resources 18 months rather than 1 year to develop and promulgate, in consultation with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards, a new “specialized stretch energy code that includes a higher performing municipal opt-in standard.”

The governor’s amendments are currently pending before the State Senate. While there is no deadline required for action by the Legislature, it is anticipated that it will vote on them in the coming weeks.

A copy of S. 9 can be found here.

A copy of the governor’s letter with his proposed amendments to the bill can be found here.