BOSTON (WWLP) – With President Joe Biden’s visit Wednesday, climate change is on people’s mind. But, what is being done on the state level?
There are only 11 days left in the legislative session and lawmakers are running out of time. A conference committee dealing with energy and climate is still working to come to an agreement between a House and Senate bill.
The conference committee first met in May, and could produce a document as soon as Wednesday. The House and Senate bills were very different but they shared the same goal of making Massachusetts more energy efficient.
State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton told 22News, “I’m grateful that President Biden is here today, talking about other things that the whole country will do. But other states are going to have to step up as well. Massachusetts will keep pushing, we’ll keep doing everything that we can, but we’re a small state, we need the rest of the region and the rest of the country to step up.”
The House’s bill dealt mostly with offshore wind policy, where the Senate’s legislation was a broad climate and energy bill. The Senate’s bill includes offshore wind, but it also touched on climate resiliency, solar power, and electric vehicles.
Top lawmakers on Beacon Hill have said not completing this bill was not an option. As for money being allocated towards climate goals, there is $610 million of funding for environmental and climate initiatives that will be voted on as part of the Senate’s Economic Development Bill Thursday.
If a conference report is filed by 8 p.m. Wednesday night, the House and Senate could take it up as soon as Thursday.