Assembly Appropriations Passes Bill to Speed Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Every Community

Charge Ahead California

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Appropriations Committee weighed in with support for the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275 – De León) on Thursday, bringing the state one step closer to adopting a goal of putting one million electric vehicles on California roads in ten years, and reinforcing provisions that guarantee that low- and middle-income Californians are full participants in the Golden State’s clean vehicle future.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee is the third Assembly panel to vote in favor of the bill, which is authored by Senate President pro Tempore-elect Kevin de León with support from co-authors Senator Fran Pavley, and Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra, Rob Bonta, Cristina Garcia, Chris Holden, and Phil Ting. The bill was approved by both the Assembly Transportation Committee and Assembly Natural Resources Committee in June. SB 1275 passed the full Senate in May with strong bipartisan support.

“We need many more electric vehicles on the road, and we also need to ensure that every Californian gets a fair chance to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles,” said Vien Truong, Environmental Equity Director of The Greenlining Institute. “That’s what Charge Ahead California is all about,” Truong said.

“Four in ten Californians live near a highway or other busy road, more than any other state,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California. “If our roads were instead filled with zero-emission vehicles, it would dramatically improve the lives of millions of Californians who are already suffering from asthma and other pollution impacts,” Kinman said.

De León developed the legislation with Charge Ahead California, a coalition of community-based organizations and conservation groups working together to expand clean transportation, improve local economies, and achieve air quality and climate goals.

“To clean up our dirty air, we need to make electric cars more accessible for our middle- and low-income families, not just the wealthy,” De León said.

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • An extended and improved Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). The CVRP has been instrumental in bringing one-third of the nation’s plug-in cars to California. The CVRP currently provides buyers with a $2,500 rebate for zero-emission purchases, but the program has been historically plagued by insufficient funding. SB 1275 would help secure needed funding for the program and direct officials to set income caps at levels that both ensure the program achieves the one million electric vehicle goal, and target rebates to people for whom they have the greatest impact.
  • Increases access to clean transportation in disadvantaged communities. SB 1275 would direct the Air Resources Board to establish car-sharing programs targeted to low-income communities, provide access to financing options that would mean lower combined monthly car payments and fuel costs, and offer incentives for the replacement of gas-guzzling “clunkers” with new or used electric cars or vouchers for transit and car-sharing.

SB 1275, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, is sponsored by the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, The Greenlining Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The campaign is also endorsed by many others, including: American Lung Association in California, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Business Association, Breathe CA, California League of Conservation Voters, CALPIRG, CALSTART, Catholic Charities – Stockton Diocese, ChargePoint, City of Baldwin Park, City of Los Angeles, Environmental Defense Fund, FAME Corporations, Global Green USA, Interfaith Power & Light, Los Angeles Business Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Sierra Club California, TransForm, Union of Concerned Scientists, Valley LEAP and West Angeles Community Development Corporation [partial list].

Media Contacts:

Claire Conlon, Office of Senator Kevin de León, (916) 651-4022claire.conlon@sen.ca.gov
Max Baumhefner, Natural Resources Defense Council, (415) 875-8204mbaumhefner@nrdc.org
Bahram Fazeli, Communities for a Better Environment, (323) 826-9771, ext. 100bfazeli@cbecal.org
Patty Ochoa, Coalition for Clean Air (213-223-6868), patricia@ccair.org
Michelle Kinman, Environment California (310) 621-8935michelle@environmentcalifornia.org
Bruce Mirken, The Greenlining Institute (510) 926-4022brucem@greenlining.org
Eric Jaffe, Resource Media (415) 397-5000 x311ejaffe@resource-media.org

Assembly Bill Would Boost Jobs

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

Measure by Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) Would Require Insurance Companies to Report Contracting with California-Based Diverse Businesses

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) introduced legislation this week aimed at boosting small businesses and job creation related to California’s insurance industry. The bill, known as A.B. 53 and modeled on a successful program long used by the California Public Utilities Commission, would require insurance companies doing business in California and with annual revenues exceeding $25 million to report how much business they do with firms owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans, and what percentage of those contracts are with companies that have most of their employees in California.

Continue reading “Assembly Bill Would Boost Jobs”

Assembly Committee Recommends Income Test for Electric Vehicle Rebates

SACRAMENTO – An influential legislative committee weighed in with support for the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275) late Monday, bringing the state closer to adopting a goal of one million electric vehicles in ten years, and reinforcing provisions that guarantee that low- and middle-income Californians are full participants in The Golden State’s clean vehicle future.

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee is the second Assembly panel to vote in favor of the bill, backing the measure 6-3. The Assembly Transportation Committee approved the bill June 16th. SB 1275 passed the full Senate May 27th with strong bipartisan support.

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee also incorporated an important amendment, explicitly linking eligibility for electric vehicle rebates to buyers’ incomes. SB 1275 gives officials authority to set income caps at levels that help ensure the program achieves the one million electric vehicles goal, and target rebates to people for whom they have the greatest impact.

“We need many more electric vehicles on the road, and we also need to ensure that every Californian gets a fair chance to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles,” said Vien Truong, Environmental Equity Director of The Greenlining Institute. “That’s what Charge Ahead California is all about,” Truong said.

“Four in ten Californians live near a highway or other busy road, more than any other state,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California. “If our roads were instead filled with zero-emission vehicles, it would dramatically improve the lives of millions of Californians who are already suffering from asthma and other pollution impacts,” Kinman said.

Senate President pro Tempore-elect Kevin de León, the bill’s author, developed the legislation with Charge Ahead California, a coalition of community-based organizations and conservation groups working together to expand clean transportation, improve local economies, and achieve air quality and climate goals.

“To clean up our dirty air, we need to make electric cars more accessible for our middle- and low-income families, not just the wealthy,” de León said.

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • An extended and improved Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). The CVRP has been instrumental in bringing one-third of the nation’s plug-in cars to California. The CVRP currently provides buyers with a $2,500 rebate for zero-emission purchases, but the program has been historically plagued by insufficient funding. SB 1275 would help secure the funding needed to ensure California is the first state in the nation with one million electric vehicles, and would step down rebate levels over time as technology costs go down.
  • Increases access to clean transportation in disadvantaged communities. SB 1275 would direct the Air Resources Board to establish car-sharing programs targeted to low-income communities, provide access to financing options that would mean lower combined monthly car payments and fuel costs, and offer incentives for the replacement of gas-guzzling “clunkers” with new or used electric cars or vouchers for transit and car-sharing.

SB 1275, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, is sponsored by the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, The Greenlining Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The campaign is also endorsed by many others, including: American Lung Association in California, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Business Association, Breathe CA, California League of Conservation Voters, CALPIRG, CALSTART, Catholic Charities – Stockton Diocese, ChargePoint, Environmental Defense Fund, FAME Corporations, Global Green USA, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Sierra Club California, SMUD, TransForm, Union of Concerned Scientists, Valley LEAP and West Angeles Community Development Corporation [partial list].

 

Media Contacts:

Claire Conlon, Office of Senator Kevin De León, (916) 651-4022claire.conlon@sen.ca.gov
Max Baumhefner, Natural Resources Defense Council, (415) 875-8204mbaumhefner@nrdc.org
Bahram Fazeli, Communities for a Better Environment, (323) 826-9771, ext. 100bfazeli@cbecal.org
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air (916) 527-8051bill@ccair.org
Michelle Kinman, Environment California (310) 621-8935michelle@environmentcalifornia.org
Bruce Mirken, The Greenlining Institute (510) 926-4022brucem@greenlining.org
Eric Jaffe, Resource Media (415) 397-5000 x311ejaffe@resource-media.org

Assembly Health Committee Passes Bill to Boost Diverse Small Businesses

AB 962 Would Track Major Hospitals’ Contracting with Businesses Owned by Women, People of Color, Veterans and LGBTs  

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022 (office), 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO — Today the Assembly Health Committee approved AB 962, introduced by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) and coauthored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). The bill uses reporting and transparency to encourage California’s $230 billion hospital industry to boost its contracting with businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and LGBT people.

“I am very excited that AB 962 passed out of health committee today,” Asm. Burke said. “It is crucial that we continue to encourage increased diversity in our state across all levels. Promoting economic opportunity for our diverse businesses has benefits that extend well past the hospital-supplier relationship because when our diverse businesses benefit, we all benefit.”

“Hospitals are uniquely positioned to build relationships with the communities they serve by partnering and contracting with diverse businesses,” said Greenlining Institute Health Equity Director Anthony Galace. “The data provided by AB 962 will enable California to leverage the expansion of the state’s health sector to benefit small businesses that employ people of color, women, LGBT people and veterans.”

The measure, sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, is modeled on a successful program overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, which over three decades has sparked massive increases in contracting with Minority Business Enterprises by California’s regulated utilities, as well as a similarly successful program that was administered by the Department of Insurance.

AB 962 now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For further background on the bill, see Anthony Galace’s recent blog post.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

 

Assembly Natural Resources Committee Passes Bill to Expand Benefits of Clean Energy Economy

AB 1550 Would Send More Dollars Paid by Polluters to Disadvantaged Neighborhoods and Low-Income Households

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegria, Public Advocates, 415-431-7434
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air, 916-214-0065
Sydney Fang, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 510-703-1311

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Natural Resources Committee today passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households that need them most. The bipartisan vote was 7-0 with two members not voting. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities and would require that an additional percentage go to fund projects that benefit low income households, regardless of where they are located within California.

Advocates for disadvantaged communities and climate protection hailed the vote:

“Assemblymember Gomez’s bill would assure that the Californians most at risk from catastrophic climate change receive real help from programs that fight pollution and deliver needed services,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air, who spoke on behalf of the legislation at today’s hearing.

“Millions of Californians have benefitted from climate investments bringing clean energy and consumer savings to low-income and highly polluted neighborhoods,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez, who also testified in favor of the bill.  “AB 1550 takes the next step and makes sure a fair share of those benefits go to low-income California families wherever they live.”

Chelsea Tu, Staff Attorney with Public Advocates, said, “By directing investments to lower-income families, whether or not they live in disadvantaged communities, this important bill goes a long way toward ensuring that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund brings economic and health benefits to communities throughout California. We applaud its advance through the legislature.”

“We have an opportunity here to improve the quality of life of all Californians by investing in the neighborhoods who are enduring the most severe poverty, in addition to the most polluted neighborhoods in the state,” said Parin Shah, Senior Strategist at Asian Pacific Environmental Network.”These are the communities, such as the families that we organize near the Richmond Chevron Refinery, that will most benefit from improvements in renewable energy, affordable housing and public transit,”

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Assembly Passes Bill to Bring More Cap-and-Trade Funds to Disadvantaged Communities

Assembly Passes Bill to Bring More Cap-and-Trade Funds to Disadvantaged Communities

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegría, Public Advocates, 510-541-5428 (cell), ialegria@publicadvocates.org
Shrayas Jatkar, Coalition for Clean Air Policy Associate, 916-527-8050; 916-248-9952 (cell)
Parin Shah, Asian Pacific Environmental Network 415-286-7850 (cell), parin@apen4ej.org

SACRAMENTO – This afternoon with bipartisan support the California Assembly passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households that need them most. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities, with an additional 20 percent designated for projects that benefit low income households regardless of where they are located within California.

Environmental justice advocates hailed the vote, noting that it will ensure that climate investments in disadvantaged communities match the percentage of the state’s population living in those communities, while assuring that benefits also reach low-income Californians throughout the state.

“We applaud Assemblymember Gomez’s leadership and commitment to ameliorating the disproportionate amount of pollution and poverty that communities across the state have faced for decades,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “The passage of AB 1550 expands opportunities for sorely needed investment and reaffirms the strength and value of CalEnviroScreen, a tool created by environmental justice communities, as the state’s tool for addressing historic disparities.”

“Despite the oil lobby’s propaganda campaign, California climate policies are bringing real benefits to communities hit hardest by pollution and poverty,” commented Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “AB 1550 makes a good program even better.”

“Assemblymember Gomez’ bill will fight pollution and deliver essential energy and transportation services to California communities that have suffered disproportionate impacts from pollution and poverty for too long,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

Public Advocates Staff Attorney Chelsea Tu commented, “Today’s victory brings California one step closer to providing much-deserved cost savings and health benefits to low income people across the state, while continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Assembly Passes Bill to Help Disadvantaged Communities Access Climate Funds

SB 1072 Levels the Playing Field for Underresourced Communities

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – Today, by a bipartisan 48-9 vote, the California Assembly passed crucial legislation designed to level the playing field for disadvantaged communities seeking funding for climate change and clean energy projects funded either by cap-and-trade dollars or other sources. SB 1072, introduced by Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and cosponsored by The Greenlining Institute and the Trust for Public Land, previously passed the Senate in slightly different form and faced no organized opposition. It has been endorsed by 100 organizations (partial list here).

“California has made it a priority to direct climate funds to the communities most burdened by poverty and pollution, and that’s absolutely the right thing to do,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Manager Emi Wang. “But the grant process is tough and competitive, and places that most urgently need the help often don’t have the resources to compete with larger, wealthier communities. SB 1072 levels the playing field.”

The measure provides for development of technical assistance guidelines covering areas like greenhouse gas quantification and grant-writing. It also provides further assistance by establishing regional climate cooperatives — local hubs staffed by local experts that will answer questions, convene stakeholders, foster partnerships and help to develop project ideas. Taken together, these programs will provide a crucial boost to rural towns, high-poverty areas and other communities for whom the grant process may be daunting.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
greenlining.org

@Greenlining

Assembly Passes Bill to Remove Language Barriers in State Ballot Initiative Process

Greenlining-Sponsored Legislation Would Translate Proposed Ballot Initiatives and Recall Petitions

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly has passed landmark legislation to help make sure all Californians have an equal opportunity to participate in the ballot initiative process, regardless of what language they speak. SB 654, introduced by Senators Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley) and sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, would bring California’s signature-gathering process into line with state sample ballots and voter pamphlets, as well as the federal Voting Rights Act.

“Nearly half of California’s naturalized citizens are limited English proficient, roughly 2.6 million of whom are eligible voters, and these citizens deserve the same say as the rest of us in what gets on the ballot,” said Michelle Romero, Greenlining’s Claiming Our Democracy program director. “We’re all better off when voters can fully read and understand petitions they’re asked to sign.”

Greenlining began raising the issue with legislators after hearing from frustrated voters who felt shut out of this key part of the political process. While sample ballots and voter pamphlets are already translated for non-English speakers, ballot initiative and recall petitions circulated in hopes of qualifying for the ballot are not covered by current law. SB 654 requires the Attorney General to translate the title and summary of proposed initiatives and recall petitions into languages covered by the federal Voting Rights Act. In California, the languages include Chinese, Tagalog, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Khmer, Hindi, and Vietnamese.

“It is time to break down the language barriers that prevent non-English speaking voters from participating fully in California’s ballot initiative process,” said Sen. Leno. “As a state we should be doing everything we can to prevent gaps in voter access so every Californian has an opportunity to help determine which measures qualify for the ballot.”

SB 654 returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote before heading to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

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Assembly Passes Historic Language Access Bill

SB 1233 Would Require State to Translate Initiative Petitions

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022
Michelle Romero, Greenlining Institute Our Democracy Program Director, (408) 550-3121 (cell)

SACRAMENTO — In a vote hailed as a historic step forward for millions of California voters whose ability to speak and read  English is limited, the state Assembly today passed SB 1233, which would require the state to translate ballot initiative petitions being circulated for signature-gathering into widely-spoken languages. The bill, which passed by 47 to 23, now returns to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.

Continue reading “Assembly Passes Historic Language Access Bill”

Assemblyman Mike Eng to Speak July 30 at Pasadena Forum on Economic Insecurity for Seniors of Color

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

Free Information and Advocacy Forum Sponsored by Greenlining Institute and KPCC 89.3 FM’s Crawford Family Forum

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) has joined a distinguished panel that will examine the growing crisis of economic insecurity for seniors of color July 30 in Pasadena. Because people of color often have less wealth than their white counterparts, they may enter retirement in a particularly vulnerable financial situation. The free discussion is sponsored by The Greenlining Institute and KPCC 89.3 FM’s Crawford Family Forum.
Continue reading “Assemblyman Mike Eng to Speak July 30 at Pasadena Forum on Economic Insecurity for Seniors of Color”