The Weekly Political Report is prepared by a political consulting group, Rasky/Baerlein, and shared with me by John Nunnari.
According to Recent Poll-Warren Leads Brown in US Senate Race
In a recent poll, Senator Scott Brown is behind Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren by 5 points in the upcoming United States Senate election in Massachusetts. The Public Policy Polling survey results released Tuesday showed Elizabeth Warren with 46% and Senator Brown with 41%. The Public Policy Polling surveyed 936 voters from March 16th to 18th. From those surveyed, 41% were Democrats, 14% self-identified as Republicans and 45% were independents or from another party.
Bill Endorsed to Allow Bidding in Renewable Energy Contracts
On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Utilities, Telecommunications, and Energy endorsed a bill that would introduce competitive bidding to the renewable energy marketplace while more than doubling the amount of renewably energy utilities must purchase. The redrafted bill would require utility companies over the next four years to purchase an additional 4% of power needs from renewable sources through a competitive bidding process. The bill was updated to allow the Department of Public Utilities to consider whether a contract enhances electricity reliability, helps moderate system peak load requirements, is cost effective to ratepayers over the life of the contract, and, where feasible, creates additional employment and economic development. Under the bill, utilities will be required to complete two procurements by December 2016 for the additional power, entering into 15 to 20-year contracts, instead of the previous 10 to 15-year timeframe.
Auto Repair Bill Hearing at State House
Debate over the proposal known as “right to repair” continued at the Massachusetts State House as the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure held a hearing on the ballot question Wednesday. Auto manufacturers and independent repair shop owners looking for car makers to release more repair codes have failed to reach a settlement, increasing the likelihood that Massachusetts voters will be asked to settle the dispute on the November ballot. Auto makers say they already share essential diagnostic information with repair shops that are willing to pay for it, and that the policy change is driven by car part dealers seeking select data to make parts that do not cost as much. Repair shop owners say they are prohibited from obtaining manufacturer-specific codes, and without the codes the problems in increasingly computerized vehicles cannot be fixed.
John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA
MA Chapter of American Institute of Architects
290 Congress Street, Suite 200, Boston MA 02110