Rep. Driscoll files the Green Future Act to invest in green infrastructure and a post-covid economy
BOSTON, FEB. 16, 2021– Today, Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. (D-Milton) filed legislation (HD.1972) that unlocks $10 billion in investments for state and local green infrastructure projects that fight the climate crisis. The bill comes as the state continues to struggle with deep unemployment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Known as the Green Future Act, by 2030 the bill will:
create just over 80,000 Massachusetts jobs,
send over $4.5 billion in funding to environmental justice and frontline communities, and
allow Massachusetts to meet its 2030 climate goal and its long-term goal of getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“I’m incredibly proud of the leadership of Speaker Mariano and my colleagues over the past months in advancing S.9 (the next-generation climate roadmap bill, passed by the House in January) and its ambitious climate goals, and I know we will get that over the finish line soon. We need to now work to meet our emissions reduction goals, and this bill will help us get there” said Representative Bill Driscoll Jr., who is the Chair of the House Committee on Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management.
Representative Driscoll continued, “COVID-19 is showing us the real-world impacts of health disparities linked to the climate crisis, specifically air pollution and a history of under investment in overburdened communities across the Commonwealth. Now is the time to invest in green infrastructure, to boost our state’s post-covid economy with big investments that reverse a year of deep job losses and cuts to local spending.”
The bill, ‘An Act Achieving a Green Future with Infrastructure & Workforce Investments,’ or the Green Future Act, funds green infrastructure by expanding an existing state program that charges fossil fuel companies a fee for the air pollution they emit. It also includes funding from a new green bonding program, focused on state and local infrastructure.
“Under Representative Driscoll’s leadership, we convened a wide variety of stakeholders from across the state to craft this bill, including economists, municipal leaders, and community groups working on the frontline of the climate crisis,” says Tim Cronin, coordinator of Green Future Now, a coalition of advocates and community groups supporting the bill. “What emerged is a bill that carefully considers the needs of the Commonwealth on climate change, economic recovery, and our need for funding to transition to a more equitable and green economy.”
The bill includes significant investments in cities and towns, through a new state aid formula that distributes funds directly to municipalities to spend on green infrastructure projects. According to Climate XChange Education & Research, under the formula:
Cities like Lawrence, Brockton, and Quincy receive just over $3 million a year.
Randolph would receive over 1.1 million a year.
Milton would receive over $400,000 a year.
Green Future Now is a broad-based campaign working to pass legislation by 2022 to ensure Massachusetts meets its emissions reductions goals and transitions to the green economy of the future. We believe we can do this simultaneously to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis and hold polluters accountable for the harm they have caused our communities. Learn more at GreenFutureNowMA.org