Solar bill bogged down in conference that hasn’t met

Two months ago, the Massachusetts House and Senate failed to reach an agreement on lifting caps on solar power. Cautioned by activists that new solar investments and installations were imperiled, a conference committee was formed to find a compromise between the differing bills between the House and the Senate. However, the committee only met for 15 minutes right before the long winter recess, and while talks between legislators are ongoing, there is the real danger that a deal won’t be struck in time.

From the Salem Gazette, by Andy Metzger and Matt Murphy (State House News Service)

As lawmakers and activists warned that solar projects and investments were imperiled, the House and Senate in mid-November assigned a six-member conference committee to settle differences between the branches over competing solar bills.

The committee, according to Tarr, met on the day it was appointed – Nov. 18 – and has not met since, a span of 54 days. The Nov. 18 meeting was hastily convened moments after the House and Senate appointed conferees. It lasted just 15 minutes, and an hour and a half later conference leaders announced that no deal would be struck before the Legislature began its weeks-long winter recess.

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The Massachusetts Senate Chamber (from the online photo tour of the Statehouse)