Will the Massachusetts legislature act with boldness to address climate change? As the two-year legislative session comes to a close on July 31st, we will soon find out. As chair of the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means, Jamaica Plain Representative Jeffrey Sánchez is one of the most powerful politicians in the Commonwealth. In this role he will have a lot of influence over what happens. Massachusetts has long been considered a leader when it comes to climate change legislation.
State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez recently sat down with Jamaica Plain News to talk about a range of topics -- how his mother inspired him, his proudest moments as a legislator, his Democratic opponent this fall, chairing the House Committee of Ways and Means and more. Rep. Sanchez, D-15th Suffolk, was first elected in 2003, and was named chairman of the House Committee of Ways and Means in 2017. He is being challenged by Democrat Nika Elugardo this September. The following is a condensed transcript of Jamaica Plain News' interview with Rep. Sanchez. Q: When someone thinks of State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez – what do you want them to think of?
On the 11th hour of the 11th day in the last month of the legislative term, senior staff representing six of the most prominent and active climate advocacy organizations along with constituents delivered a joint letter to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, D-15th Suffolk, asking him to move forward clean energy legislation. The organization particularly want House Bill 4575 and House Bill 2913, which would increase the rate of renewable energy required by utilities to produce (also known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS) and codify environmental justice into law, respectively. The organizations present included the Massachusetts Sierra Club, 350 Mass Action, Clean Water Action, Toxics Action Center Campaigns, Environment Massachusetts, and ELM Action Fund. “As a climate justice advocate, I know that time is of the essence. Our communities can’t wait till next session.
Following a landmark 35-0 vote, the Massachusetts Senate passed a comprehensive climate bill on June 14 aimed to “promote a clean energy future.” Now the bill’s future lies in the hands of the Massachusetts House. The legislative session, and the bill’s chances for passage, end on July 31. Motivated by a sense of urgency for the Senate bill to pass the House before the current legislative session ends, local environmental activist groups Jamaica Plain Forum and 350 MA-Boston Node are organizing a Town Hall Forum with state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, D-15th Suffolk, who also chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means. Taking place at Unitarian Universalist Church on Eliot Street this Thursday, July 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm the town hall will aim to address Rep. Sánchez’s views on the MA Senate Climate Bill and his plans to get a MA House version passed before July 31. The bill includes two key provisions which will be a center of discussion at the Town Hall and are supported by organizers, and the JP-based group Boston Climate Action Network:
Raising the minimum amount of local renewable energy that Massachusetts utilities and competitive suppliers have to provide by three percent each year.
State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez and his Democratic Nika Elugardo faced off against each other in a candidate forum on Monday night. This is an unedited video of Monday night's forum hosted by JP Progressives, Our Revolution Boston, NAACP Boston and Amplify LatinX. The forum begins at the 17:30 mark with Elugardo first introducing herself. The two Democrats will face each other in September for the 15th Suffolk District seat.