Top Priority Bills
H.3161, An Act strengthening Massachusetts as the national leader in offshore wind
Sponsor: Rep. Fernandes
Currently, New England’s regional electric grid is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, with gas supplying on average 50% of its power. This bill would double the state’s wind procurement target to at least 11,200MW by 2035 to move us closer to our 2030 clean energy generation goals, increase support for innovation and economic development, and clarify wildlife protections currently in statute.
H.3392/S.2217, An Act relative to setting deadlines to electrify the Commuter Rail
Sponsors: Rep. Owens, Rep. Armini, Sen. Crighton
Transportation currently accounts for 37% of Massachusetts’s greenhouse gas emissions, the most of any sector of our economy. This bill would establish a timeline for electrification of the Commuter Rail system with priority given to lines serving EJ communities, an initiative endorsed by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board in 2019.
H.3774/S.675, An Act creating a climate bank in Massachusetts
Sponsors: Rep. Meschino, Sen. Mark
This legislation establishes a state “climate bank” to help leverage public and private investment to finance decarbonization projects that would not be viable without additional support. At least 14 other states and Washington D.C. operate successful climate banks. Establishing a green financing system will enable Massachusetts to compete for its share of the $27 billion in federal Inflation Reduction Act funds available for this purpose.
H.3694, An Act relative to the Clean Heat Standard
Sponsor: Rep. Driscoll
Building-related emissions account for 30% of Massachusetts’s total emissions and are the single biggest source of GHG emissions in the City of Boston. This bill establishes a “clean heat standard” for Massachusetts, which would require suppliers to increase the share of heating energy delivered from zero-emission sources over time. This was a central recommendation of the 2022 Commission on Clean Heat.
H.3187/S.2113, An Act Relative to Energy Facilities Siting Improvement to Address Environmental Justice, Climate, and Public Health
Sponsors: Rep. Madaro, Sen. DiDomenico
This legislation would work to reform the energy facilities siting process to give impacted communities a stronger voice in siting decisions and to incorporate environmental justice principles into stakeholder engagement.
H.779/S.471/S.572, An Act to save recycling costs in the Commonwealth
Sponsors: Rep. Day, Sen. DiDomenico, Sen. Rush
This bill would create a producer responsibility framework for packaging waste to ensure that cities and towns have the resources and infrastructure in place to manage the costs of packaging disposal and invest in waste reduction efforts.
Targeted Increases to Priority Line Items:
- Department of Environmental Protection (2200-0100): $54,555,032 ($2,516,841 increase over FY24)
- DCR State Parks and Recreation (2810-0100): $109,984,560 ($4,387,209 increase)
- Department of Public Utilities Administration (2100-0012): $20,741,599 ($1,047,005 increase)
- Department of Fish and Game (2300-0100): $1,997,635 ($608,387 increase)
- DCR Watershed Management (2800-0101): $2,136,595 ($320,000 increase)
Level Funding with FY24:
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (2000-0100): $21,446,415
- EEA Climate Adaptation and Preparedness (2000-0101): $10,003,414
- Office of Environmental Justice (2000-0101): $8,841,066
- Division of Ecological Restoration (2300-0101): $5,455,000
- Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (2310-0300): $1,576,191
In addition to these key legislative actions, ELM has also identified a number of additional policy priorities that will enable the Commonwealth to meet its climate, environmental protection, resiliency, and equity goals.
H.3225/S.2150, An Act to encourage solar development on buildings and disturbed lands Sponsors: Rep. Garballey, Rep. Sabadosa, Sen. Mark
This legislation seeks to reform the state’s solar net metering program to increase incentives to develop more solar on previously-disturbed land and the built environment.
H.3232/S.2365, An Act establishing a zero-carbon renovation fund
Sponsors: Rep. Vargas, Sen. Gomez
This bill establishes a $300m fund to support building decarbonization efforts in the existing built environment. 75% of the building stock in 2050 has already been constructed, necessitating renovations to existing buildings that can be prohibitively expensive without assistance.
H.3366/S.2285, An Act electrifying regional transit authorities
Sponsors: Rep. LeBoeuf, Sen. Oliveira
This bill requires regional transit authorities across the Commonwealth to transition to all-electric bus fleets by 2035.
H.3139/S.2218, An Act setting deadlines for school bus and public fleet electrification, and programs to encourage electrification of private fleets
Sponsors: Rep. Barber, Rep. Meschino, Sen. Crighton
This legislation requires public fleets and school buses to transition to all-electric fleets by 2035 and sets out interim electrification targets to be monitored by MassDOT.
H.2131/S.1382, An Act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by pollution
Sponsors: Rep. Barber, Rep. Connolly, Sen. Jehlen
This legislation sets air-quality improvement targets and increases monitoring of outdoor air quality in pollution hot spots. It also requires indoor air quality upgrades including filtration system upgrades for buildings located in areas particularly vulnerable to pollution.
H.3236, An Act sparking the construction of 21st century buildings
Sponsors: Rep. Vitolo
This legislation creates new requirements for state-owned buildings to be constructed using specialized stretch code and creates requirements for future iterations of the stretch code to include on-site solar installation for appropriate buildings.
H.3218, An Act to promote transportation electrification infrastructure
Sponsor: Rep. Roy
This legislation directs MassDOT and the DPU to forecast future needs of EV charging infrastructure to meet our net-zero goals and to work with electric distribution companies to coordinate necessary infrastructure and transmission upgrades.
This legislation offers a suite of reforms to the Mass Save program to increase transparency and accountability, as well as ensuring that program goals, funding, and incentives are oriented successfully toward building electrification.
Building on the success of the landmark VOTES Act signed into law in 2022, this legislation offers a suite of administrative improvements to increase political participation across the Commonwealth and remove structural barriers to access.
H.2197/S.1356, An Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS
Sponsors: Rep. Hogan, Sen. Cyr
This comprehensive legislation implements key recommendations of the PFAS Interagency Task Force to reduce the harmful impacts of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in our environment and water supply.
H.783/S.521, An Act relative to the pesticide board
Sponsors: Rep. Domb, Sen. Lewis
This bill seeks to identify needs and necessary reforms to the function of the state’s pesticide board to improve the ability of the Commonwealth to take proactive, science-based action to reduce harmful impacts and promote responsible pesticide use.
H.28392/S.1940, An Act increasing the conservation land tax credit
Sponsors: Rep. Jones, Rep. Pignatelli, Sen. Tarr, Sen. Eldridge
The Conservation Land Tax Credit program is a successful initiative enabling donation of private land for public conservation purposes but the total credits allowable per year is capped. This legislation temporarily increases the CLTC from $2 million annually to $5 million annually over 3 years then sunsets the increase in 2034.
H.861/S.578/S.475, An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management
Sponsors: Rep. Meschino, Sen. Tarr, Sen. Eldridge
This legislation establishes a statewide framework for nonessential water use restrictions in periods of drought to ensure consistent application of science-based conservation policies across watersheds.
This legislation establishes a fund to support climate adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation projects with a particular focus on environmental justice and other vulnerable communities. The fund is capitalized by establishing a fee on property insurance.
H.876/S.557, An Act to create a commission to determine the feasibility of voluntary acquisition of flood risk properties
Sponsors: Rep. Peake, Sen. Pacheco
These bills begin the process of assessing and responding to future impacts of flooding due to accelerating climate change on coastal communities.
H.3150/S.2117, An Act advancing clean energy, equity, and innovation within municipal utilities
Sponsors: Rep. Cataldo, Sen. Eldridge
This legislation supports increased climate action from Municipal Light Plants (MLPs) by requiring them to meet clean electricity requirements consistent with the rest of the state by 2030. It also establishes a $50 million fund to accelerate the transition to clean energy for environmental justice communities.
H.798/S.456, An Act to facilitate climate resiliency
Sponsors: Rep. Ferrante, Sen. Crighton
This bill, a priority of our partners at the New England Aquarium, supports the acceleration of climate resiliency projects in vulnerable natural areas.
H.3159/S.2100, An Act relative to electric utility climate resilience and microgrids
Sponsors: Rep. Fernandes, Sen. Creem
This bill directs utilities to establish Climate Vulnerability and Resilience Plans in cooperation with vulnerable communities, as well as removing structural barriers for cities and towns seeking to establish resilient microgrids.
H.755/S.2091: An Act Reforming Energy System Planning for Equity and Climate Transformation
Sponsors: Rep. Blais, Sen. Comerford
This legislation creates a new state office charged with conducting coordinated planning for the Commonwealth’s future energy needs in a transparent manner that considers climate goals, environmental justice, and consumer needs, and moves beyond utility boundaries and financial interests to decarbonize the energy system.
For more information:
Contact Casey Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.