191st Legislative Session Ends, Bills Await Governor Approval

Massachusetts State House.

HYANNIS – The 191st legislative session recently came to a close, bringing numerous new bills supported on both sides of the aisle. 

“The legislature’s passage of nation-leading legislation to combat climate change, spur economic development, and protect vulnerable people was the successful culmination of years worth of advocacy,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes in a statement. 

“Our residents need support now more than ever, as they continue to face economic hardship in the midst of a global pandemic. Together, the bills we voted on will lead the Commonwealth into a more sustainable, more equitable future, offering assistance to our residents that need it the most.”

One bill included in the session was the next-generation climate roadmap that aims to have Massachusetts reach net-zero emissions by 2015 and expand renewable energy infrastructure. 

A $626 million economic development bill was also passed through the legislature before the session’s close, which will provide the state’s economy with stimulus funding as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Small businesses will be provided with government-sponsored plans and job training funding by the bill. 

The economic development bill also includes funding for affordable housing advocated for by Fernandes, who secured $250,000 for wastewater remediation in affordable housing development.

The state’s transportation infrastructure will also be provided with $16.5 billion dollars in state funding, including resources for the replacement of the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.

Protections for small-scale craft beer businesses and expanded protections for college campus sexual assault survivors were also included in the session.

Provisions for the creation of a special commission to evaluate and recommend a new design for the state’s seal, which currently features a misrepresentation of a Native American with a hand holding a sword hovering over them, were also created by legislation brought forth by the 191st session.

The bills now wait to be addressed by Governor Charlie Baker.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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