Massachusetts lawmakers to vote again on climate change bill

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The bill had been approved during the waning hours of the last legislative session that ended earlier this month, leaving lawmakers no time to address Baker’s veto.

“The Senate and House have scheduled formal sessions for Thursday and will vote once again to take bold action to combat climate change, protect environmental justice communities, and ensure environmentally responsible economic growth,” Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano, both Democrats, said in a joint statement yesterday.

Baker has said he supports much of the bill but is concerned portions of it could increase the cost of housing, slow the construction of affordable housing and potentially harm large portions of the local economy just as the state starts to recover from the pandemic recession.

The governor has said he hopes to use his veto authority to press for changes to the bill.

There was little opposition in the Legislature to the bill, which passed by near unanimous votes in the House and Senate, suggesting lawmakers could pass it over any Baker objections.

The bill would overhaul the state’s climate laws, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create renewable energy jobs and protect poorer communities that can be at higher risk from pollution.

A highlight of the bill is the goal of attaining a net-zero greenhouse gas emission limit by 2050 in part by setting new statewide limits every five years to help the state reach the goal.