Mariano, Spilka take defiant tone on climate change
Baker still hasn’t provided source for $6b cost claim
HOUSE SPEAKER Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka on Tuesday set in motion passage of the same climate change bill that passed the Legislature last session and was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Baker.
The two leaders issued a statement with a defiant tone, taking issue with several of the points Baker made in his veto message. The statement said the Legislature’s bill “rejects the false choice between economic growth and addressing climate change. We must combat climate change while also maintaining a thriving economy and expanding the housing stock that will ensure future, sustainable growth. The legislation sent to the governor showed how it can be done.”
In his veto message, Baker said the Legislature’s climate change bill, and particularly its proposal for a net zero energy stretch code, would jeopardize the production of affordable housing. He noted in the veto message that his own administration is developing an energy stretch code, but implied it would not impact the production of affordable housing because it would include public input from stakeholders.
Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington, the Senate’s point person on climate change legislation, was very dismissive of the governor’s veto message during an appearance on The Codcast. He suggested Baker vetoed the bill because it requires his administration to start setting in motion policies to reduce emissions now rather than years down the road.
Barrett said the governor’s estimate of a $6 billion impact on Massachusetts residents by going to 50 percent was something he had never heard before.
Baker administration officials were asked for the source of the $6 billion number on Friday and didn’t produce it. They did not respond again on Tuesday.In their statement, Spilka and Mariano said they were confident the House and Senate “will again act with urgency by swiftly sending this bill back to Gov. Baker’s desk.”
The Legislature is just starting its new term, with no committee appointments made yet. Even so, the new climate change bill, which is identical to the old bill, was referred to the temporary Senate Ways and Means Committee. The petitioners listed on the bill are Barrett and his House counterpart, Rep. Thomas Golden Jr. of Lowell.