climate change

Climate Policy Sent Back To Baker With Sweeteners


The message from the top House climate negotiator was clear Sunday: the ball's in your court, governor.

Democrats in the Legislature are hoping that this session does not end the same way the last one did, with Gov. Charlie Baker vetoing a piece of significant climate policy legislation. But Baker returned their compromise offshore wind and climate bill (H 5060) Friday with substantial amendments, including a desire to put $750 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars toward clean energy uses and a plan to scrap the offshore wind price cap that the Legislature stopped short of eliminating.

Baker's administration, which has worked closely but not always agreed with the Legislature on climate policy since Baker took office in 2015, supports the main thrusts of the bill -- to reshape the way the state connects to offshore wind power, accelerate a transition to renewable energy sources and help Massachusetts achieve its target of net-zero emissions by 2050 -- but was concerned about the feasibility of some sections.

An agreement on a House-Senate response emerged early Sunday, the final day for roll call votes this year, and it emerged in the House just before 4:30 p.m. in the form of a further amendment that Rep. Jeff Roy filed to the governor's amendments. By adopting the further amendment with a voice vote, the House avoided having to vote directly on Baker's amendments. The Senate rejected the governor's amendment and then adopted the further amendment, also with voice votes. The bill was reenacted and sent back to Baker's desk after 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Copyright State House News Service
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