By Bob Katzen

“This commission brings together a diverse, experienced and thoughtful group of experts and stakeholders to help our administration develop the policies and strategies we will need to meet the challenges associated with decarbonizing the buildings sector in Massachusetts.

The membership of the commission on Clean Heat represents a variety of important perspectives that will be critical in the development of balanced, forward-thinking approaches to decarbonization that prioritize innovation, affordability, and equity as we make this transition.”
—Gov. Charlie Baker announcing the swearing in of the members of Massachusetts’ Commission on Clean Heat, created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings sector.

“Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives released an ambitious bill that would ensure the responsible development of offshore wind as well as create an investment fund for supply chain infrastructure, research and workforce development.”
— Environmental League Clean Energy Coalition Director Susannah Hatch.

“We cannot achieve our climate change goals without addressing the transportation sector which is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. The five bills I filed today will put us on track to have one million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030, and they will help ensure that every community in the commonwealth enjoys the health and environmental benefits of the transition to clean transportation.”
— Senate Majority Leader Cindy Creem (D-Newton) on her package of proposals including measures that will incentivize the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), encourage the early retirement of high-emission vehicles through a Cash for Combustors program, require companies like Uber and Lyft to rapidly accelerate their adoption of ZEVs and assist school districts in switching to zero-emission buses.

“The importance of Creative Youth Development programming at this time in history cannot be overstated. These programs not only foster creativity in young people, but they also provide supports—for mental health, promoting racial justice and food insecurity. As a child, I found solace and comfort in the arts when stress, struggle and anger surfaced in my life.”
— Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council announcing that grants totaling $1.5 million have been awarded to 72 programs in communities across the state that focus on infusing youth development with creative experiences in the arts, humanities and sciences.

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of January 10-14, the House met for a total of 39 minutes and the Senate met for a total of three hours and nine minutes..

Mon. Jan. 10 House 11:02 a.m. to 11:13 a.m.
Senate 11:16 a.m. to 11:26 a.m.

Tues. Jan. 11 No House session
No Senate session

Wed. Jan. 12 No House session
No Senate session

Thurs. Jan. 13 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:28 a.m.
Senate 11:21 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Fri. Jan. 14 No House session
No Senate session

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