(BOSTON) – Massachusetts lawmakers kicked off the 193rd Legislative Session with bill filing. As of Friday morning, over 6,000 bills were filed collectively by the 200 lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) has filed legislation to advance a range of policy initiatives, including bills to drive the transition to clean energy, to secure sustainable revenue for community media centers and local programming, to bolster permanent supportive housing, and to minimize trauma on children in the foster care system, among others.

One of Representative Meschino’s three priority pieces of environmental legislation this term is HD.3005, An Act creating a climate bank in Massachusetts, which can be found online at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD3005. This new legislative initiative builds on Representative Meschino’s signature piece of climate legislation, The 2050 Roadmap, enacted in 2021 as the cornerstone of the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.

A climate bank or “green” bank develops innovative financing mechanisms to accelerate clean energy adoption and to leverage private investment, driving the shift to decarbonize the economy and toward a clean energy future.

“A statewide climate bank can provide needed financial resources to Massachusetts businesses and citizens looking to use clean energy to heat buildings or homes and to improve energy efficiency,” said Representative Meschino (D-Hull). “The results will improve public health benefits, reduce energy costs, and improve resiliency for homes and buildings throughout the Commonwealth.”

A second priority bill is An Act to modernize funding for community media programming (HD.215, found at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD215), which seeks to ensure that local cable and community media centers are financially sustainable. The bill adds streaming service providers to the current cable franchise law, which requires cable providers to invest a nominal fee in a municipality for the use of public infrastructure. Last session, the legislation gained widespread bipartisan support from over 60 legislators and received further praise from community media centers and advocates across the Commonwealth.

Representative Meschino’s third piece of priority legislation is An Act to create and implement a Massachusetts Flexible Supportive Housing Subsidy Pool Program (HD.216, found at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD216). This bill creates a new trauma-informed service delivery model that would braid public and private funding to better meet the needs of chronically homeless individuals, families, and youth in subsidized housing. The legislation advanced to the House Committee on Ways and Means last Session, and Representative Meschino is eager to continue to advocate for passage this Session.

For a complete list of bill titles and text, please visit Representative Meschino’s page on the Legislature’s website at: https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/J_M1/Bills.

Next, each bill is to be assigned to a subject matter committee for review and initial disposition. Every bill will be scheduled for a public hearing to receive written and verbal testimony. Hearings are scheduled by subject matter, typically beginning in the spring, and will be conducted throughout the 193rd Session.

If you would like to track a specific bill through the legislative process, please visit https://malegislature.gov/. You can create an account using the portal at the top right corner of the webpage.

(Photo attached to this press release courtesy of Conor Doherty.)