House passes $1B plan for local climate change projects

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Massachusetts State House_276543

Massachusetts State House

BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts House lawmakers have approved legislation creating a $1.3 billion fund to help local cities and towns address climate change.

The proposal by Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo was unanimously approved Wednesday by the state House of Representatives. It calls for the creation of GreenWorks, a competitive grant program that would dole out roughly $100 million annually for a decade.

DeLeo has said the fund would help municipalities pay for climate resiliency projects addressing the threat of rising seas and floodwaters or renewable energy investments that help cut greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal still requires state Senate passage and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature.

Baker has proposed a similar climate change fund that would raise a real estate excise tax rather than borrow money to fund it, as DeLeo proposes.

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