BOSTON (WWLP) – Before the end of the formal session, Governor Baker sent back 19 pages of amendments to the climate bill. The legislature worked through those amendments and now the bill is back on Governor Baker’s desk.
Lawmakers returned the bill to Governor Baker’s desk with compromised language that eliminated the offshore wind price cap. However, it includes a piece that is making the governor uneasy. Under the comprehensive bill, 10 cities and towns would have the ability to restrict or prohibit fossil fuels in most construction or major renovations.
To do this, each of the 10 cities and towns would have to meet the affordable housing target set by state law, and must exempt life science labs and health care facilities.
“I’ve expressed deep concerns about what I view as the exclusionary zoning provisions involving those 10 towns. We know that exclusionary zoning, which has been a fact of life in Massachusetts for decades, has made it really harder and harder every year for low-income and moderate-income people to find a place that they can afford to live. I think we have a really strong record on climate, that part of the bill gives me agita,” said Governor Baker.
A veto from Governor Baker would essentially kill the bill because lawmakers plan to only meet for the remainder of the term in informal session, where they cannot take a roll call vote needed for an override.
It’s important to note that this would be the last chance for the Governor to act on a major climate bill before he leaves office in January.