http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw08/sl080307.htm

Massachusetts adopted a Green Jobs Law in August, 2008, following the lead set by California and Washington. I am working with some NYCELLI participants to draft and get passed a New York State Green Jobs Bill.  Details on the New York State Bill will be forthcoming as we make the final Proposed Bill available.

1) MA utilizes an investment trust as a funding mechanism. This is essentially a “purse strings” approach, whereas we (NYCELLI) are creating a collaborative task force without specifying funding sources or limits. Sect. 1.b-c.
 
2) The Investment Advisory Council has 15 members (Sect. 1.d).  
3) All money leftover in the fund “rolls over” into the next year, and so the fund’s growth is cumulative.  The monies do not revert to the MA General Fund. This is an interesting tool to make the investment fund independent and sustainable.  Last para of Sect. 1.
 
4) The MA law has a definitions section.  Sect. 2.
 
5)  MA set up a “Clean Energy Technology Center.” This is akin to our Green Jobs Council.  Kudos to us for picking a good model for green jobs governance. Sect 2.a-b.  The composition of the Center is laid out in Sect. 2.b. 
 
6)  MA chose to make governance very explicit. The Law outlines in precise and explicit terms the function, term length, power of the Center and its constituent reps. This reflects MA’s general legislative preference for specificity and order.  This is common in MA, whenever they set up a gov’t body like this, to lay out all governance parameters.  It does make the Center’s work more mandatory, lays out clear lines of authority and makes the Center  more responsible for the ultimate work product.
 
7)  Sect. 3 lays out the Center’s powers. 
 
8)  Section 5 & 6 relate to reporting and recommendations.  These are two of any Green Jobs body’s most essential functions – to inform public policy with data and analysis that is specific to green jobs and clean energy technology opportunities.  The quality of green jobs and clean energy economy data is vital to making credible and visible recommendations.  Public dialogue cannot be intelligent without a “vernacular” regarding clean energy and green jobs.  
 
9) Big Sect. 11 “seeds” the Fund with a $1m infusion. This money is used when awarding grants.  Though budget strapped, “purse string” measures are vital to a bill, ensuring an initial source of funding, and making provisions for either a stream of funding, or a self-sustaining fund like the MA law.

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