Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Public Hearings Held on GOP Jobs Package

In case you missed it, 2 of the 5 omnibus jobs bills filed by the Republican Legislative Caucus received a public hearing today.

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy heard testimony on House Bill 4038, An Act Relative to Cost-Effective Energy Policies and Electricity Cost Reduction. The legislation, filed in response to the Republican Legislative Caucus’ statewide Jobs Tour, seeks to address the staggering cost of electricity in the Commonwealth - one of the factors suppressing economic growth, discouraging job creation and driving businesses to relocate to other states.

Furthermore, House 4038 seeks to lower electricity costs and bring transparency to the ratepayers of the Commonwealth by: (1) requiring public utilities to competitively solicit long-term renewable energy contracts, (2) encouraging the incorporation of small and large hydroelectric generation in the Commonwealth’s renewable energy portfolio, and (3) establishing a 10-year independent commission to annually evaluate the environmental benefits and economic costs associated with current and proposed energy and electricity policies.

Additionally, the Joint Committee on Higher Education conducted a public hearing regarding House Bill 4035, An Act Relative to Creating Job Opportunities Through Improving Access to Education, Empowering Vocational Schools, and Investment. This comprehensive piece of legislation focuses on the central role education plays in addressing the recovery gap and the continuing jobs crisis in Massachusetts.

House Bill 4035 seeks to create jobs via Massachusetts’ educational system by: (1) renewing the focus on vocational-technical programs and vocational-technical school districts across Massachusetts, (2) lowering the unemployment rate for veterans by rewarding these men and women for the skills they gained while serving our country, (3) creating a program that will help our students become job-creators as they turn their ideas for products and businesses into a reality, and (4) proposing a Finish Line Scholarship Program to help students finish their degree by paying for fees and tuition of their final year of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Below, you will find letters of testimony submitted to the aforementioned Committees by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

Finally, as you may remember, in February, House and Senate Republicans announced that they would be submitting a comprehensive and innovative jobs package. Filed as five omnibus bills, the jobs package targets five key areas – business regulations, education, energy, healthcare, and taxes – that are key to facilitating economic growth in Massachusetts.

Residents and business owners alike are welcome – and encouraged – to join members of the House Republican Caucus in either attending the hearings in person, or submitting letters of written testimony to the Chairs of the appropriate Joint Committees.

The schedule of remaining public hearings on the GOP Jobs Package is as follows:

Wednesday, May 9th

1:00 pm: House Bill 4037, An Act Providing Regulatory Reform to Promote Job Growth – Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight (located in B-1)

Thursday, May 10th

10:00am: House Bill 4036, An Act Incentivizing Job Creation and Reducing the Burdens on Small Businesses – Joint Committee on Revenue (located in B-2)

H4038TestimonyJobsBill Energy

H. 4035 Education