Climate Dispatch: March 25, 2022: Legislative Climate Progress with Co-Chairs of the Climate Solutions Caucus

Today’s Episode

Don’t miss this week’s Climate Dispatch for a 10-minute, deeper-dive overview and look forward on the legislative landscape for climate action this session. VNRC’s Johanna Miller and VCV’s Lauren Hierl are joined by the Climate Solutions Caucus Co-Chairs, Senator Chris Pearson and Representative Sarah Copeland Hanzas.

This past week has been a huge week for long-overdue, equitable climate progress – with one huge highlight being the FY 23 Budget (the “Big Bill”) passing out of the House today by 135-4. This bill – H.740 – includes over $200 million in: weatherization; clean electrification; more efficient, clean transportation and heating investments; and more. This moment marks an unprecedented level of investment that, as the bill now moves to the Senate, is crucial to maintain (or better, expand) to help Vermonters realize all the cost-saving, public health and local economic benefits of more clean, local, renewable energy resources.

As the budget conversation now moves to the Senate, so do many other big policy priorities including the Clean Heat Standard (H.715), the Municipal Energy Resilience Initiatives bill (H.518) and the T-Bill, with essential, expanded transportation innovation funding. The just-passed Environmental Justice bill (S.148) will now move to the House. 

In short, whew! There is a lot happening. It’s long overdue. And it’s important to celebrate and appreciate all that the Legislature is lifting to help Vermonters reduce their energy burden, carbon footprint and become more energy independent.

Call to Action

Please call or email your House members today and thank them for their strong support for climate in the FY 23 budget! Call or email your Senators, too and thank them in advance for maintaining and expanding upon the House’s investment in climate action in the FY 23 budget. Find all Reps and Senators here or call Tuesday-Friday during business hours and leave a message for your legislators with the Sergeant at Arms – 802-828-2228.

Click here for an in-depth overview of the level of investment in climate, as it currently stands, largely via the FY 23 Budget.

Thanks for ALL you do and will continue to do as the Legislature’s work ramps in the waning weeks of the 2022 session – and we work to cement the strongest suite of climate policies and investments!

P.S. Join us on Wednesday, March 30th at noon for an update with VNRC and VCV policy experts on where key environmental bills stand now that we’re through the mid-point of the 2022 legislative session. We will provide an inside scoop on what’s happening with priority bills, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A. Register for the webinar here