Dear Friend,

In record time following Gov. Baker's veto of a best-in-nation climate bill at the end of the 2020 legislative session, the Legislature has re-enacted the very same bill and sent it back to him.

For climate hopes, this is resurrection day -- courtesy, I might add, of an exceptional collaboration between Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano.  

It isn't often that major legislation leaps lightly across time from one session to the next.  'Starting all over again' is usually a demoralizing experience, but instead the President and the Speaker are raising everyone's spirits.  And around climate change policy, no less, which needs to pick up the pace around here.  So they're choosing their spots well.  

If we keep up the pressure, we will get this important work done.  Here are the remaining steps:
  • The Governor now has 10 days, with today counting as Day One, to consider four choices: veto the bill, return it with proposed amendments, sign it outright, or let it take effect without his formal signature.  Gov. Baker will almost certainly choose door #2.  This is his opportunity to suggest changes.
  • Note that his 10 days end on Feb. 7, a Sunday.  Still, that's it.  The deadline doesn't carry over to Monday, Feb. 8.  
  • Permit me to point out that Feb. 7 is Super Bowl Sunday.  Game starts at 6:30 pm.  If Gov. Baker signs, or goes light on amendments, we could celebrate by half time.  Just sayin'.
  • If indeed the Governor goes for option #2, the Senate and the House can accept each amendment, reject each, or further amend each.  Technically, the language Gov. Baker returns to us with his proposed changes is an altogether new piece of legislation, which means we're free to do any combination of all three.
  • We are not, however, bound by a 10-day rule of our own.  Each legislative branch can take whatever time it wants, even to the end of the two-year session, but the understanding is that both the President and the Speaker will want to move quickly.  Given the complexity of a 200-person Legislature, there is always potential peril at this stage, in the form of either major weakening amendments or delay. 
  • Once we make our decisions on gubernatorial amendments, we legislators will pass our final final version of the bill and return it to Gov. Baker.  Once again, he gets to ponder his choices for 10 days, but on this round his options are more limited: veto it, sign it, or let the bill take effect without his signature.
  • Thanks to a terrific bunch of Reps and Senators, and your grassroots support, we have overwhelming majorities in both branches in favor of the legislation.  If, within 10 days, Gov. Baker signs the bill or lets it take effect without his action, we celebrate.  If he vetoes, we override, and then we celebrate.
Over the next two weeks, please write Gov. Baker one more time, urging him to temper the breadth and depth of any amendments.   He can be reached at  

Here's to hard work and hope.  

Senator Mike Barrett