In case you missed it, today marks the second day of debate on the House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.
As you may have heard, the House of Representatives recently unveiled their $33.8 billion state budget proposal. While the budget presented to the Legislature includes significantly less spending then Governor Patrick’s budget proposal, the House’s plan relies too heavily on revenue found in the recently passed transportation finance bill, and House Republicans will continue to oppose this fiscally irresponsible approach.
The focus of this afternoon's debate will shift from transportation to amendments relative to energy and environment. Below, you will find the amendments offered by House Republicans, along with a brief description of the amendment.
Energy and Environment
Amendment 108 - An Act Relative to the Department of Environmental Protection Culvert Program (Hill, Bradford)
Changes the language of the Department of Environmental Protection Administration account (2200-0100) to require the Secretary of Energy and Environment to create a grant program for the cost of construction and reconstruction of culverts under or adjacent to town ways, including expenses related to the relocation of utility lines. Increases the overall appropriation by $1M.
Amendment 110 - An Act Relative to the Department of Fish and Game Culvert Program (Hill, Bradford)
Changes the language of the Department of Fish and Game Riverways Protection Restoration and Public Access account (2300-0101) to require the Secretary of Energy and Environment to create a grant program for the cost of construction and reconstruction of culverts under or adjacent to town ways, including expenses related to the relocation of utility lines. Increases the overall appropriation by $1M.
Amendment 388 - Establishing a Standard for Cost Effectiveness Calculations for EOEEA Programs (Jones, Bradley)
Adds a new outside section requiring the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) to conduct and consider a Program Administrator Cost Test (PACT) for the purposes of evaluating the extent to which programs under the authority of DOER and the EEAC are encouraging and leveraging additional participant investments. Currently DOER and the EEAC rely on an often biased Total Resource Cost (TRC) test that includes all costs, but not all benefits, many of which are intangible and the value of which can only be determined by each individual program participant.
Amendment 389 - Executive Office of Energy and Environment Report on MA Energy Programs (Jones, Bradley)
Adds a new outside section requiring the Executive Office of Energy and Environment to report to the Legislature by December 31, 2013, and annually thereafter, using third party experts in consultation with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), with an audit and analysis of all energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable energy programs in the commonwealth, including itemized details of the public and private funding sources, as well as qualitative and quantitative benefits.
Amendment 450 - An Act Relative to Transparency in Water Management (Peterson, George)
Adds a new outside section to delay the adoption of the final regulations to implement the Sustainable Water Management Initiative framework until the Legislature has had 6 months to review the Department of Environmental Protection’s comprehensive report detailing the cost of implementation to municipalities, water districts, water companies, water commissions and their ratepayers.
Amendment 456 - Bristol & Plymouth County Mosquito Control Projects (D'Emilia, Angelo)
Changes the inside language of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Administration account (2000-0100) to provide for a reserve to meet the cost of proactive eradication and control of mosquitos to prevent eastern equine encephalitis. Increases the total appropriation to this account by $400K to $6.1M.
Amendment 568 - Massasoit State Parks – Taunton (Orrall, Keiko)
Earmarks $50K from the Division of State Parks and Recreation Administration account (2810-0100) for seasonal day use of Massasoit State Park in Taunton. Does not increase the overall appropriation.
Amendment 668 - Falmouth Turbine Dismantling Study (Vieira, David)
Earmarks $100K from the Office of Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs account (2000-0100) for evaluating proposals to dismantle Wind I and Wind II turbines in Falmouth. Increases the overall appropriation by $100K.
Amendment 685 - Lake Webster Invasive Species Mitigation (Fattman, Ryan)
Adds $100K by creating a new line item for the town of Webster lake.