NFIB opposed this legislation because small businesses require access to clean, affordable natural gas.
NFIB opposed a last minute, unvetted bill that would create a two-year pilot program expanding subsidized Health Connector coverage. The bill allowed individuals with an estimated annual income of $80,000 and families of four earning up to $140,000 per year to receive state-subsidized coverage through the Health Connector. This change would have increased health costs for small businesses who already unfairly cross-subsidize premium expenses in our unique merged market. As many small businesses in Massachusetts will remember, the last time the state allowed unfettered access to state subsidized health coverage it resulted in a costly and devastating EMAC tax on employers. NFIB successfully urged Governor Baker to veto this legislation.
The House and Senate easily passed a climate and energy bill that allows ten communities to ban natural gas hookups for new buildings, makes the sale of nonelectric vehicles an unlawful practice by 2035, mandates the state building codes include provisions on charging stations in residential and commercial buildings, and requires large buildings to report their energy usage. NFIB opposed this legislation because small businesses require access to clean, affordable natural gas. Businesses also need dependable vehicles as electric vehicles may still be too expensive and unreliable for their operation. NFIB urged Governor Baker to veto this legislation, but despite concerns, he signed the legislation. Almost immediately after the bill was signed into law, the city of Boston expressed an interest in becoming one of the pilot program communities banning the use of fossil fuels for newly constructed buildings in the city.