MCAN is excited to share our legislative priorities that focus on housing as climate solutions and cleaning our public energy grid. Our existing buildings are a problem -- they are the primary source of carbon emissions, drafty and inefficient, with poor indoor air quality due to fossil-fuel based appliances. MCAN is prioritizing bills on retrofitting housing so that people live in safe, efficient and healthy homes. MCAN is also prioritizing bills that make it easier to establish new public utility districts and give municipalities access to resources for public utility energy efficiency programs.
MCAN worked with many of our partner organizations and coalitions on developing these bills. We expect to expand this list as co-sponsors take on bills.
Housing is a Climate Solution
- GREEN Initiative / HD 3029. This bill establishes a housing retrofit program for low- and moderate-income households in Gateway Cities and smaller communities of need. Phase 1 will fund demonstration projects in each Gateway City to create local awareness and Phase 2 will scale up retrofit programs for 8 years out. The Department of Energy Resources will administer the program. Read the Fact Sheet here. (Sponsor is Rep. Higgins, 4th District/Worcester; developed in collaboration with Environment Mass).
- Building Justice with Jobs / HD 3338 / SD 2102. This bill targets a million retrofits over the next decade, making homes able to be retrofitted and retrofitting homes to be more energy efficient, while also creating jobs, with strong worker protections, to meet the retrofit target. Retrofitting homes in Environmental Justice communities will be prioritized. A Buildings Justice with Jobs Task Force, created in the Department of Housing and Community Development, will expand the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program services and Mass Save programs. Funding the retrofits and jobs program will come from federal stimulus dollars and the redistribution of existing state funds. (Co-sponsors are Sen. Pacheco, 1st District/Plymouth and Bristol and Rep. Robinson, 6th District/Middlesex; developed in conjunction with the Mass Renews Alliance, formerly known as the Green New Deal Table).
Clean the Grid
- An Act transitioning Massachusetts to clean electricity, heating and transportation, SD 2205/HD3551. This bill (known as the 100% Clean Act) will transition the state to 100% clean energy for electricity by 2035 and 100% clean energy for the building sector (heating) and transportation sector by 2045. 1 million homes and 3 million square feet of commercial space will be retrofitted. A trust fund will be created to offset costs for residents switching to new technologies. Municipal light plants are directed to provide a minimum percentage of Class 1 renewables over time (80% by 2035) and to file plans by 2023 to make this happen. Biomass and trash incineration are excluded as non-emitting, clean energy sources. (Co-sponsors Sen. Boncore, First Suffolk and Middlesex District and Rep. Decker, 25th Middlesex District; developed by Environment Mass and supported in collaboration with Mass Power Forward coalition). You can watch the 100% Clean Briefing to learn more!
- An Act removing barriers for Municipal Power Communities to become Green Communities, HD3858/SD2355. This bill permits municipalities in municipal light plant districts to become Green Communities without requiring the entire municipal light plant district to become a Green Community. This bill creates pathways for funding and resources to support clean energy and energy efficiency programs offered by municipal light plants. (Sponsored by Sen. Eldridge, Middlesex and Worcester Districts).
MCAN continues to work in solidarity with Environmental Justice organizations and the Environmental Justice Legislative Table that is co-convened by Neighbor to Neighbor and Green Roots Chelsea. Bills we are supporting as allies with Environmental Justice organizations are listed below. You can also watch the Environmental Justice Bills Briefing to learn more!
- An Act Relative to Energy Facilities Siting Reform to Address Environmental Justice, Climate, and Public Health / SD.1418/HD.3679.
- An Act to Create Access to Justice / SD.1893/HD.1968.
- An Act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution / SD.1742/HD.2696.