Volume 31 | December 22, 2020

States Begin Vaccine Distribution
On Friday, December 11, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use authorization and Operation Warp Speed immediately set in motion an ambitious and challenging distribution process. By Monday, the first injections were given to high risk health care workers. 
CT, MA, and RI Governors Commit to Transportation & Climate Program
Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today committing to a multi-jurisdictional program that will cut greenhouse gas pollution from motor vehicles in the region by an estimated 26%
Congress Enacts COVID Relief & Omnibus
After many months of bitter stalemate, Congress has finally enacted a deal on a combined $900 billion coronavirus relief measure and a $1.4 trillion must-pass spending bill that will fund federal agencies and programs through September 30, the end of the fiscal year. The spending package ultimately passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan majorities: 359-53 in the House and 91-7 in the Senate. The President is expected to sign the bill into law. 

After days of tense partisan negotiations, Congressional leaders made headway in the deal that essentially eliminated liability protections for business and financial aid for state and local governments. However, the measure does include stimulus checks for individuals, albeit at half the amount than the previous payment offered through the CARE’s Act - $600 per adult and $600 per child.
Governors Charlie Baker and Andrew Cuomo awarded the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York were both honored by the Kennedy Institute for their steadfast guidance during the global COVID-19 pandemic at the Institute's recent Annual 2020 Celebration of Inspired Leadership Virtual Event. The award was created to "reflect the best leadership qualities" of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who championed public service and civic engagement. 
News from the States
Connecticut
Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Vaccine Distribution Plan To Begin
 
Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Receives Federal Extension of Connecticut National Guard’s COVID-19 Support Through March

Maine
Governor Mills Statement on Arrival of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines in Maine
 
Maine and United Kingdom Sign Agreement to Advance Partnership on Clean Energy, Climate Change
 
Massachusetts
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Vaccine Update, New Holiday Guidance
 
Governor Baker Signs Fiscal Year 2021 Budget and Proposes Additional Resources for Small Businesses, Education, and Police Oversight
 
New Hampshire
New Hampshire COVID-19 Vaccination Planning
 
Governor Chris Sununu Joins Fellow Governors in Urging New COVID Relief Package from Congress
New York
Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Vaccination Distribution Plan
 
Governor Cuomo Announces Regulations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Now Finalized

Rhode Island
Rhode Island plans for COVID Vaccine Distribution
 
 
Vermont
Vermont plan for COVID Vaccine Distribution
 
Governor Phil Scott Extends State of Emergency to January 15
Regional and Federal Updates

U.S. Climate Alliance States Outpace Nation in Clean Energy Job Creation While Pushing to Achieve Goals of Paris Agreement (US Climate Alliance)

US Pushes Harder For Electric Vehicle Makeover (Clean Technica)

Mass., other states near historic agreement to curb transportation emissions (Boston Globe)

Offshore wind advocates want better coordination on electric grid upgrades (Energy News Network)
Did you know?
According to a recent Harvard School of Public Health report, the Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) is projected to have significant public health benefits. TCI jurisdictions would see up to $3 billion worth of annual public health and safety benefits in 2032 if all jurisdictions implement the TCI-P.