BOSTON (WWLP) – Lawmakers worked into the early morning hours on Monday to wrap up formal decisions for the year.
Governor Baker sent back the climate bill with 19 pages of amendments. Lawmakers worked through the new proposals with time running out to reach a compromise.
On Friday, Baker returned an offshore wind and climate bill with substantial changes, including the addition of $750 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding toward clean energy uses. An agreement between the House and Senate emerged early on Sunday, the final day for roll call votes for the year.
The compromise included Baker’s suggestion to eliminate the offshore wind price cap, but it rejected his plan to use ARPA money. By keeping ARPA money out of the final bill, lawmakers prevented the bill from becoming a spending bill in which the Governor has the ability to veto individual line items. The bill also looks towards wind as part of the future of clean energy in the Commonwealth.
“We have not met our potential with wind, and we’re going to have to do that in the coming years, so this bill investing in what is one of the still, we can even say untapped, energy sources, is going to make a world of difference in where our energy comes from,” said Northampton Representative Lindsay Sabadosa.
Mandated in the bill is that all new car sales must be zero emission vehicles by 2035 and it increases the rebate for purchases and leases or zero emission vehicles to $3,500. It also offers an additional $1,000 to those who trade in an internal combustion vehicle.
The bill is now on the Governor’s desk. He can either sign the bill, let it take effect without his signature, or veto the entire bill.