• On Monday, March 28th, the State House News Service noted that although the Baker administration did not include within their proposed state building code changes the ability for a municipality to require all-electric new construction, Attorney General Maura Healey has told the administration that it has the legal authority to propose such a policy. The administration's updates to the existing stretch code and its new net-zero specialized stretch code for cities and towns to adopt would hold gas-heated buildings to higher efficiency standards but would not allow cities and towns to eliminate their construction. On the March 18th deadline for public comments, Healey said her office had "filed comments with DOER confirming that it has the authority to create a special opt-in energy code under the Climate Act that will provide municipalities the opportunity to impose all-electric requirements." 

 

  • On Wednesday, March 30th, Lowell city councilors voted 11-0 to give the Lowell city manager position to state Representative Tom Golden. Golden, a 14-term veteran Democrat, serves as one of four division leaders for House Speaker Ronald Mariano. Now that Golden has been named city manager, it is expected he will resign as the 16th Middlesex District state representative and as a real estate agent for RE/MAX Innovative Properties.

 

  • On Thursday, April 14th, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is holding a hearing on the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030. Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback on EEA’s proposal for 2025 and 2030, and this hearing will focus on the buildings sector and natural and working lands, and the policies to achieve these emissions limits, sublimits, and goals. Written feedback on the proposal is accepted at [email protected] until April 30, 2022.

 

  • On Thursday, March 31st, the Senate agreed on an unrecorded voice vote to keep an updated version of the chamber's emergency rules in place until August 1st, allowing Senators to cast their votes on major pieces of legislation remotely through the end of formal lawmaking business under an internal rules extension approved. The decision to keep remote voting practices in place in the Senate came several weeks after State House leaders reopened the building to the public, regardless of visitors' vaccination status or mask use.