Top legislators in Massachusetts this year hope to pass a major climate and energy bill, which could bring significant permitting and siting reform, and boost transportation and heating electrification.
“It’s going to be a really interesting time,” said Kyle Murray, director of state program implementation at the Acadia Center, a climate-focused nonprofit. Murray praised the steps taken in the previous two bills but added that “we’ve got so many areas we still need to cover.”
Murray of the Acadia Center stressed the importance of securing funding for public transport in the state. According to a recent assessment by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the state would need to invest an additional $2 billion annually through 2036 just to make all the necessary repairs for the existing system. This excludes any potential expansion, resilience or modernization efforts to help the state meet its climate goals.
“We need a more stable funding source for the MBTA [Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority]. I really do think we need to address that at some point in the very near future,” said Murray, while acknowledging the added difficulty of the state’s current financial troubles. Gov. Healey recently proposed a $375 million budget cut to stave off an impending shortfall.
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