Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2014
House Approves Bill to Ensure Effective Management and Expansion of Natural Gas
Legislation will improve public safety and environmental welfare, reduce energy costs
(BOSTON) – State Representative Thomas Golden joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in unanimously approving a public safety bill that will improve the state’s ability to anticipate, repair, and guard against natural gas leaks.
The bill will also extend potential savings to municipalities, businesses, and households by expanding natural gas services to new consumers. Businesses will be able to offer financing programs to these new consumers.
Further, the bill will accelerate the replacement of aging pipelines by creating an infrastructure replacement program. It will also establish uniform classification standards for natural gas leaks. These standards have corresponding requirements and timelines for repair, surveillance, or reevaluation.
“As legislators it is our responsibility to ensure Massachusetts’ citizens are safe in their homes, schools and greater communities,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “This bill brings us one step closer to that goal, while also helping the environment and generating cost savings for our residents and businesses.”
“This bill will really improve the energy infrastructure in our Commonwealth,” said State Rep. Thomas Golden. “It paves the way for natural gas to be cheaper, safer, and more accessible.”
Greenhouse emissions will be reduced, as an estimated 5,600 leak-prone pipes in Massachusetts are repaired.
The legislation will also:
· Require gas companies to coordinate surveys, replacements and repairs with municipalities and state paving organizations
· Mandate gas companies to report location, classification and date of leak to DPU
- Authorize DPU to establish a minimum winter patrol standard for cast-iron pipelines
The bill now moves to the Senate.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2014
Legislation Highlights Commitment to Providing for Neediest Citizens
while Aiding Businesses and Municipalities
(BOSTON) – State Representative Thomas Golden joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass legislation that protects employers from paying an approximate 30% increase per employee in unemployment insurance (UI) rates.
This business-friendly measure simultaneously supports the average employer and allows their employees to receive the same benefits under this lower rate. In the coming weeks, the House plans to make systematic improvements to the UI system and tackle minimum wage in a combined bill.
The bill also includes such timely measures as $20 million for low-income heating assistance, as well as $45 million to provide low-income homeless families with access to housing. Further, it allows the Department of Transportation to spend up to $50 million as needed to remove snow and ice for the rest of the winter.
The bill also provides $2.78 million to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to hire 150 additional social workers.
“Last month I stood before the Chamber and vowed to protect the Commonwealth’s children and pledged to build on Massachusetts’ economic success,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Just a month later we are making these gains. While the House conducts a comprehensive review of DCF, I’m proud that we could provide immediate funds to address caseload issues.”
Finally, the bill includes a $15 million recapitalization of the Brownfield’s redevelopment fund to allow clean-up and redevelopment projects to move forward, as well as $4.8 million for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative.
State Rep. Thomas Golden said, “I am very excited about these initiatives, especially with our commitment to supplying low-income heating assistance, redeveloping our brownfields sites, and keeping our youth safe.”
This bill passed the House 146 to 2 and now moves on to the Senate.