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BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– House Leadership Explores options to extend the legislative session: Reporting from Chris Lisinski and Michael Norton of the State House News Service reveals that House leadership is open to the idea of extending the current session [$]. “DeLeo and Rep. Kate Hogan, a top deputy, told lawmakers they are investigating two possibilities: meeting in formal sessions later in the year than July 31, which would require a suspension of joint House-Senate rules, and holding formal sessions virtually with remote voting” [SHNS].
Extending the session would make possible the passage of more complex climate bills, that usually involve a lot of deliberation between lawmakers. On the Senate side, this includes the Next Generation Climate package, passed by the Senate in January 2020, which includes an economy-wide carbon price. In the House, this includes Representative
It also opens up the possibility for bills currently stuck in committee, such as 100% renewable energy and more carbon pricing legislation, to be able to have enough time to get past the finish line this year. The key takeaway is that extending the legislative session would be critical to passing climate legislation this year, without it the window for any legislative action this session may be far too narrow.
For the most up-to-date info on COVID-19 & Beacon Hill…..
- The State House News Service coronavirus updates tracker” see the latest updates here.
- MassTrac COVID-19 bill tracker: Check it out, and follow updates, here.
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– [Local] “Environmentalists Say EPA Is Abandoning Its Mission By Reducing Enforcement Because Of COVID-19” (Arun Rath and Craig LeMoult): [read the article]
– “Let’s Not Trade One Public Health Crisis for Another: COVID Response Can’t Ignore Climate” by Noa Dalzell, via Climate XChange. “At the end of the day, we have a chance to come out on the other side of this pandemic much better prepared to deal with the other, ongoing collective crisis: global climate change. But it is not a given that we will be.” (read the full piece here)
– “How Clean Energy is Part of Economic Recovery after Pandemic” by Mike Jacobs, via the Union of Concerned Scientists blog.
– “Think Solar While Hunkered Down At Home” by Judith Holt, via the Sandwich Enterprise.
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “New EPA Rules Will Increase Air Pollution As The World Suffers A Respiratory Pandemic” (Barbara Moran, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “In less than a week, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two policy changes that could have far-reaching consequences for the air above Massachusetts.”
Meanwhile, in the short term….
– “Amid coronavirus pandemic, air pollution declines in Boston and elsewhere” (Dabid Abel, the Boston Globe): [read the article] [$]
– “Spring temperatures heating up: What this means for your outdoor allergies” (Kelly Reardon, WWLP): “Seasonal temperatures continue to increase with climate change, and that includes western Massachusetts.”
LOCAL CLIMATE SPOTLIGHT
– “Elizabeth Schueler Named President Of Manomet, Inc.” (Manomet Team): [learn more about Manomet’s new President]
– “VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Chelmsford resident joins climate change group” (Margaret Smith, Wicked Local Littleton): [read the article]
BEYOND THE BAY STATE
– “Enough valid signatures to get CMP transmission corridor on ballot, officials say” (David Sharp, Associated Press via 13 WGME): “Maine election officials invalidated hundreds more signatures that were collected to force a referendum on a $1 billion hydropower transmission corridor, but there were still enough valid signatures to surpass the threshold for a statewide vote in November.”