Pages tagged "legislation"

  • 2020 Conference Committee Letter

    August, 2020

    Honorable Members of the Climate Bill Conference Committee:

    Mothers Out Front congratulates the House and Senate on the passage of thoughtful and comprehensive climate legislation. We are gratified that both H4933 and S2500 include the mandate of Net Zero emissions by 2050 and that both authorize geothermal microdistrict projects as originally described in the FUTURE Act. We look forward to seeing these provisions in the final bill. 

    We also ask you to consider the following Mothers Out Front priorities.

    1. Include H4933’s definitions of Environmental Justice Principles and Environmental Justice Population, as found in Sections 15NN-15RR, H.4933 (lines 687-831) They acknowledge that environmental injustice occurs in low-income communities and in communities of color, and they establish clear mechanisms to identify said populations.
    2. The urgency of the climate crisis calls us to tighten the timeline for emissions limits, benchmarking and reporting. We ask the Committee to adopt the emissions limits in Section 3 of S2500.
    3. Include Net Zero stretch code language to enable municipalities to adopt the Net Zero stretch code as set out in S2500, Section 30, clause and in 14, Sections 31, 42 and 54. We also support expansion of the Bureau of Building Regulations and Standards membership as proposed in Sections 15A-15F, S2500.
    4. Increase solar project capacity to 25 kW, as provided in Section 2 of Amendment #16 to H4912. This addresses the need for more solar generation to meet the Commonwealth’s emissions goals and create local clean energy jobs. Also, adopt Section 17 of the final version of H.4933, addressing the cap for certain net metering facilities and any credits accrued in excess of annual electricity consumption by those facilities.
    5. Reject the expanded definition of non-carbon emitting sources now in H4933. Municipal Light Plants should not be allowed to include more biomass, landfill methane gas, trash, anaerobic digestion and wood as in the House’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions standard. Only resources that are qualified under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard or the new Clean Energy Standard. 

    Mothers Out Front is a grassroots movement dedicated to a swift, complete, and just transition  from fossil fuels to clean, renewable, and sustainable energy in order to ensure a healthy and viable future for all children. We thank you for your support for these goals and look forward to a climate bill that is robust, equitable and fully committed to mitigating climate change.


    Ellie Goldberg, Newton, and Hewon Hwang, Concord

    On Behalf of the Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Legislation Team

  • Thanksgiving carbon pricing call


    Dear Mothers Out Front Massachusetts friends,

    For me, Thanksgiving is a small annual intergenerational gathering of a few family and friends. We traditionally take time to say what we are grateful for. Sometimes we share memories about relatives and friends who are no longer with us. It makes me reflect on my own life and how I would like to be remembered.

    As always, I am grateful for the love of family and friends. This year I am especially grateful for Mothers Out Front's campaign for a livable future.

    With every phone call, tweet, and letter to a public official, every rally and march, every conference call and meeting, my children see me as a passionate advocate fighting to transform a sick and threatened planet into a healthy, just, and thriving world.  

    The Mothers Out Front Legislative Team thanks you for your amazing support this year and asks that you take a moment, in the next week or two, to send a Thanksgiving message to your state legislators. We want to get a hearing for a bill that would create a state carbon fee and dividend program that fairly benefits all Commonwealth residents.

    Our calls are part of a statewide effort with the Clean Energy Future coalition in support of H.2810, “An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions” sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Benson and co-sponsored by 104 other legislators

    Filling our legislators inboxes with emails and voicemails during and just after the Thanksgiving break will show that we're serious about wanting them to join us to work for a just and livable future for all children. If you email, include a photo of your family with your note.

    • Ask your legislators to urge the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Thomas Golden) to hold a hearing on the Benson Bill, H.2810, “An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions.” 

    Thank you,

    Ellie Goldberg for the Legislative Team


    Below is a sample for you to use in calling your legislators. If you want to email, here is a sample

    For those who live within Senator Barrett’s district (Waltham, Lincoln, Lexington, Concord, Bedford, etc), here are alternative sample scripts for calling or emailing.

    Find my legislator:

    Sample constituent phone script for calling your legislator: 

    My name is ____ and I live at______. I am calling as a member of Mothers Out Front to ask you to please contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Thomas Golden) to bring the Benson bill H2810 to a hearing and to personally encourage your colleagues to also champion this bill to put a fair price on carbon pollution. [Add something about the loved ones who make you feel the urgency of climate change and motivate you to take action]. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Learn more about H2810 here

  • The FUTURE Act



    Thank you to all for showing up and supporting the FUTURE Act hearing in the Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee, November 12, 2019

    Audrey Schulman from HEET has made a thank you gift for all of us in this 45 second video. Thank you to Sonja Tengblad, from our East Boston team, for your creative testimony and the soundtrack for this video!
    Some highlights for those of you who weren't there:
    • 37 people testified for the FUTURE Act
    • A bus came from Merrimack Valley with lots of folks from Lawrence and North Andover. Seven of them shared really powerful and moving testimony about their experiences over the last year.
    • 4 moms from Mothers Out Front testified
    • The room was packed including about 100 from Mothers Out Front.
    • Boston Mayor Walsh testified in support of the FUTURE Act
    • Bill Akley, President of Eversource Gas testified after us and announced their plan for 3 geothermal microdistrict pilots.
    • If you want to see the 5 hours of testimony here is the video of the whole hearing.

    Legislative Sponsors:

    Senator Cindy Creem, Representatives Lori Ehrlich and Christina Minicucci

    The FUTURE Act:

    • Creates a path to a safer renewable energy future.

    • Addresses the neglected gas system’s current leaky pipes and safety challenges.

    • Reforms our Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

    Massachusetts has committed, through the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 to a 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels. While we strongly support increasing this goal to 100%, we are also aware that our current efforts will not suffice to meet even the 80% target. 

    Since 1997, Massachusetts has required electric utilities to use more renewable energy each year through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). One result is that our growing solar electric industry has earned 11,500 jobs and attracted $5 billion of investment to our state. The gas utilities do not have a similar path to get to our state emissions goals and continue to invest heavily in fossil fuel infrastructure that will not be needed. If we are to meet even existing goals, we must address the gas system.

    It is time to take on the challenge of how to heat and cool our buildings with local clean renewable energy instead of explosive gas. The FUTURE Act creates a road map for gas companies to transition to modern renewable thermal by 2050.

    Next Steps for Advocacy

    The Senate passed a bill, An Act Setting Next Generation Climate Policy, S2500, with important components based on the FUTURE Act, including an amendment that passed in large part because of a surge of calls from Mothers Out Front members. Many parts related to safety and gas leaks will be discussed as part of a Senate Natural Gas bill in the near future. 

    The House members of the Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE) Committee extended the deadline for their report on the FUTURE Act until June 4th. We want the bill reported favorably out of the committee as soon as possible. We are still asking Representatives in the House to reach out to the TUE Committee Chair Rep Thomas Golden about our support for the bill. We also ask that you reach out to constituents in other parts of the state where there may not be a strong climate voice to contact their Representatives. Here is a sample email and call script.

    Legislator Information Sheet

    FUTURE bill filed in the House, H.2849, full text


    Helpful documents:

    Talking Points for advocates

    Gas is the Past - Health Impacts Information

    Rep Lori Ehrlich on the FUTURE Act 

    Learn more about the bill:

    Webinar on the FUTURE bill






  • Legislation

    As of early December, major climate legislation is STILL stalled in a Conference Committee where the Senate and House representatives are supposed to negotiate a bill to complete the 2019-2020 legislative session. We've contacted our legislators many times to push the Climate Conference Committee to take action. We've focused on the environmental justice components we want in the final bill and on stopping the expansion of biomass in the electric grid.

    NEXT UP: 

    • Who: Massachusetts Mothers Out Front and allies across the state
    • What: A Twitter Storm calling on the Climate Conference Committee to finish the bill before the Mass legislative session ends!
    • Where: Starting here for the latest updates
    • When: Noon-1pm on Monday, December 7th
    • Why: Time’s a-ticking for this session and for all children’s futures. Our goal is a strong and just climate bill passed this year.

    For more information, and updates on the Twitter Storm, click here for our Action Page.


    Below you will find the history (backwards) of our work in the 2019-2020 session.

    Completing the MA Climate Bill: Send Our Priorities to the Conference Committee

    Mothers (and grandmothers and other caregivers) make great advocates! Thanks to all of you who responded to our Action Alerts and contacted your representatives. You really made a difference!

    In the last days of July, two important climate bills were submitted to the Massachusetts House of Representatives: an economic recovery bill and an omnibus climate bill.  Although not everything we wanted was included, the final bills incorporated many of our amendments. 

    Now, a Climate Conference Committee will meet to reconcile House Bill H4933 and Senate Bill S2500.

    The Legislative Team has written directly to the conference committee members to share our priorities for making the final bill stronger and more equitable.

    Next, we need you to contact your State Representative and Senator:   

    • If you have not done so already, thank your representative (and any others you may have contacted) for passing the House climate bill (H4933), especially the Environmental Justice language. 
    • Write a short personal note (email or tweet) to both your representative and your senator.
    • Share our letter and ask them to contact the Conference Committee members to express support for our specific priorities. 
      • If emailing, please adapt the sample script below. Attach the Legislative Team's letter to the Committee members and ask them to advocate for Mothers Out Front's priorities.
      • If Tweeting, here's some tips.

    Here is more information for you to use if needed.

    Sample script for emails

    Dear ________,  

    Thank-you for your support in getting strong climate legislation passed this session!  Now I need you to ask the Climate Bill Conference Committee to include our suggested points to make the legislation more effective and equitable. Please share the attached letter with the Conference Committee members.

    Please let me know when you contact them. And again, thank you!


    1. A copy of the letter from Mothers Out Front to the Conference Committee:
    2. Click here for a guide to tweeting
    3. Information about the original bills and the amendments we supported (below)
    4. Spreadsheet showing who co-sponsored our priority amendments to H.4912 and H.4879
    5. Find My Legislator 
    6. Directory of legislators’ Twitter accounts


    The Massachusetts House passed a big climate bill on Friday, July 31!

    Thank you everyone for your time and effort and repeated calls/emails to your Reps. Thank you to the Legislative Team for your leadership and hours of planning, talking, emailing, calling and tweeting this week and over the past year and a half. 

    Six of the amendments we supported passed. For a brief summary of our wins and losses, see below.

    As a follow up, and as prep for the next steps, we're sponsoring a Twitter training. Tweeting turned out to be an important way to reach our legislators. We could be much more effective with more Tweeters and more skill. Please spread the word.
    Twitter for All
    Wednesday, August 19 1:00-2:00pm

    The legislature extended the session, a very unusual move, in order to continue to address COVID needs, the budget and to have time for the Senate and House to meet in conference committees to combine and negotiate what gets into the final bills before they are sent to the Governor. We may still be able to influence the final climate bill during the reconciliation by the conference committee. We don't know the timing of that work yet.

    Please thank your State Representative for their work, cosponsorship and votes for bold climate policy. To see which of our amendments they cosponsored, click here.

    What's in the bill?

    The bill has many strengths, based partly on the Senate climate bill and Rep Joan Meschino's 2050 Roadmap bill. It includes backcasting from a 2050 net zero goal and intermediate targets for 2030 and 2040.

    Six of the amendments we supported passed (click here for the list of amendments we supported).

    With the passage of amendment 31, the Renewable Portfolio Standard is raised to 3%, to reach 40% renewable electricity by 2030.

    The headline news is the major win on Environmental Justice with the unanimous passage of amendment 52. This amendment was based on the EJ bill which we have supported for multiple legislative sessions. The House leadership orchestrated a dramatic finish to two days of deliberation with Speaker DeLeo presiding and Rep Adrian Madaro's maiden speech on the floor of the chamber as well as speeches by other Reps.

    We can really take pride in the adoption of amendments 15 and 19, based on the FUTURE Act. Mothers Out Front, HEET and the Gas Leaks Allies helped pass the needed language for the geomicrodistrict pilots and to set our sights on a fossil fuel free heating sector.

    It was important that amendment 16 pass to save net metering for large solar.

    We're disappointed that the carbon pricing amendments didn't pass, but an aspect of the environmental justice provisions from H.2810 was included with the passage of amendment 5. There must be regular monitoring and reporting of the equitable benefits of the strategies used to achieve net zero emissions.

    Green Recovery

    The last week of July began with a big push for a carbon pricing amendment attached to H.4879, a green recovery, housing, and it turns out, sports betting bill! Again thank you for our fast moving members who called and emailed about Amendment #163. We got 59 cosponsors in 48 hours and would have gotten more, but the sponsor, Rep Driscoll, was compelled to withdraw the amendment. This is what happens to many amendments that are not supported by the House leadership. To avoid being rejected in a floor vote, the sponsor is asked to withdraw. 

    We also supported several other climate-related amendments which did pass:


    • Amendment #71, Healthy Soils. Sponsor: Paul A. Schmid
    • Amendment #305, Clean Heating and Cooling. Sponsor: Tommy Vitolo
    • Amendment #355, Rooftop Solar Ordinances & Bylaws. Sponsors: Jack Lewis, Mike Connolly, Tami Gouveia, Maria Duaime Robinson, Lindsay Sabadosa

    Massachusetts Mothers Out Front's three legislative priorities

    The Legislative Team has proactively advocated for three legislative goals — environmental justice, carbon pricing, and the safe transition from retail gas to clean energy

    The legislative process requires adapting to changes as bills win and lose support, as bill elements get combined, as coalitions emerge, and as strategies evolve.  Covid-19 has occupied most of the legislature’s attention in the past few months and has influenced our strategy as well. Rather than restricting our focus to specific bills, our team is staying true to our values and goals while staying flexible about the most effective route to influence emerging legislation.  

    The State Senate put out a strong climate bill (S.2500) and now we need to get the House to step up. We pushed for key elements of the FUTURE Act included in Senate bills. Now we'll do the same in the House where it is stuck in committee. There is a gas safety bill that is progressing in the House which is the logical place to include amendments for a fair gas transition. We will follow the lead of the Gas Leaks Allies on their decision to focus efforts there.

    Since our volunteer capacity is finite and the legislative process is complex, we have benefited from participating in coalitions, especially the full time staff of many advocacy organizations. We rely on them to organize virtual meetings, provide updates and strategic guidance. We are grateful for the special interest and knowledge of a few Mothers Out Front members who have contributed to and are tracking legislative initiatives. We also appreciate the need to transcend the legislative "session" and plan for continuity. 

    Thank you in advance for joining us as we get closer to passing impactful climate policy in Massachusetts in 2020!

    1. Environmental Justice (click here)

    • S.464/H.4264, An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth, would codify environmental justice policies. It has been moved to both chambers' Ways and Means Committees. The Senate's climate bill, An Act setting next generation climate policy, S.2500, included elements of the bill such as representation of environmental justice communities in an advisory body and mandating equity in distribution of benefits and reduction of harm in communities disproportionately impacted by climate.

    2. Carbon Pricing (click here) 

    • H.2810, An Act to promote green infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions, is stuck in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE), and is unlikely to move forward in this session. So the hope lies in attaching amendments to another bill. 

    3. FUTURE of Gas (click here) 

    •  H.2849/S.1940 focuses on transitioning the gas utilities to selling renewable heat as well as safety and accountability issues in the meantime (FUTURE is an acronym: For a Utility Transition to Using Renewable Energy). In the Senate, important parts of the bill were included in S. 2500. In the House the bill remains in TUE. In the House, the bill remains in TUE. Key components may be added as amendments to other bills.

    Here is our tri-fold brochure to download and print featuring these priorities.

    Other Bills We Support

    In addition to our three legislative priorities for which we are harnessing Mother Power to pass this session, we have also endorsed several other bills. These are not bills that the Legislative Team is actively engaged with, but we want to lend the Mothers Out Front name on a list or letter from supporting organizations. Recently we endorsed:

    Fair and Safe Elections bill

    Other bills that we have endorsed:

    100% Renewable Energy

    Roadmap to 2050

    Healthy Soils 

    Efficient Appliances 

    Interested in a bill that we haven't endorsed? We have a process for vetting bills to support. We need at least 48 hours if there is a deadline to sign on to a coalition letter. Contact Andra at

    Get Involved!

    Sign up for Action Alerts 

    • Sign up for MOF Action Alerts to get notified when we need everyone to call or email their legislators
    • Would you like to be added to a list of people who particularly want to show up for legislative events like hearings? Please let Andra know at The Legislative Team will use the list to send a special invitation to you for events at the State House, in your district, and online (like webinars on bills). 

    Know Your Legislators!

    • Find your State Legislators' phone numbers and email; look them up here. Once you've got their contact information, keep it handy on your phone or your fridge, and use it often! Our representatives rarely hear from their constituents more than once and a small group of Mothers can have a big impact by asking for their Rep to be a climate champion and checking back regularly to see what they did since you last talked. They work for us and our children, so get to know them.


    Background on the Massachusetts Legislature

    Coalitions MOF Works with on Legislation


    Thank you for the help so many of you gave to H.2810, the carbon pollution fee and dividend bill.

    With our allies, we created a buzz in the State House on January 14. Forty Mothers Out Front members and friends showed up for the hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) and lobbying with our allies. Our Mothers panel made the environmental justice provisions in the bill vivid with personal stories by Connie Dawson, Agnieszka Rytych-Foster, and Sue Swanson. See the video here! 

    Also, about 40 Mothers Out Front members submitted personal written testimony that you can read here.

    Thank you to all for showing up and supporting the FUTURE Act hearing

    Audrey Schulman from HEET has made a thank you gift for all of us in this 45 second video. Thank you to Sonja Tengblad, from our East Boston team, for your creative testimony and the soundtrack for this video!
    Some highlights for those of you who weren't there:
    • 37 people testified for the FUTURE Act
    • A bus came from Merrimack Valley with lots of folks from Lawrence and North Andover. Seven of them shared really powerful and moving testimony about their experiences over the last year.
    • 4 moms from Mothers Out Front testified
    • The room was packed including about 100 from Mothers Out Front.
    • Boston Mayor Walsh testified in support of the FUTURE Act
    • Bill Akley, President of Eversource Gas testified after us and announced their plan for 3 geothermal microdistrict pilots.
    • If you want to see the 5 hours of testimony here is the video of the whole hearing.



    Showing Up to Shape the Laws that will Determine Our Children's Future

    Mothers Out Front was well represented at the State House on June 4th thanks to twenty members who were able to shirt up and show up. We were there to support one of our legislative priorities, Environmental Justice. The bills were heard by the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee; the room was packed and the testimony was lively. The legislators saw that we walk our talk. 

    Thanks also to the Legislative Team, the Environmental Justice Team, and staff members who worked together to get the word out with short notice. 


    What we did in January 2019

    All the bills for the 2019-2020 legislative session are filed by our Representatives in the House this month. There's a mad rush to get as many Reps to cosponsor each bill before the deadline of February 3rd. Our goal is for every Community Team to meet with the Rep/s in their town, to introduce them to Mothers Out Front if they're a new Rep, and to ask them to cosponsor our two priority bills.

    Learn how to run a Mothers Out Front lobbying meeting, and the exciting details of the carbon pricing and the FUTURE bills, and how to lobby your legislators the MOF way in these webinars:

    Lobby Days

    • Thursday January 24th 11-3:00pm. Mass Power Forward Lobby Day
    • Tuesday January 29th time tba. Clean Energy Future (carbon pricing coalition) Lobby Day.


    This page is brought to you by the Mass Mothers Out Front Legislation Team:

    Andra Rose, Ania Camargo, Ann Berwick, Bee Jay Baatz, Ed Woll, Ellie Goldberg, Hewon Hwang, Judy Leff, Marilyn Ray Smith, Mary Hutton, Melissa Downes, Nancy Clark, Peggy Duesenberry, Sharon deVos, Sue Swanson, Tanya Larkin, Zeyneb Magavi

    For information, questions or to get involved, contact Andra at