Senate budget subcommittee approves Cap & Trade Expenditure Plan

Also proposes $25 million for San Francisco Bay restoration

May 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO – The Senate budget subcommittee that oversees California’s programs to fight climate change approved a $2.8 billion Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan this afternoon with the largest blocks of money going to local air districts to reduce air pollution, forest health and fire prevention, freight and heavy duty vehicle incentives and clean vehicle rebates.  The proposal now goes before the full Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

“This plan continues California’s strong commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions and sustain our global leadership in combating climate change,” said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 2 that oversees Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation. “By providing substantial assistance to local air districts to reduce pollution, and investing in fire prevention activities, we can improve the health and safety of Californians and reduce harmful impacts on those with heart and lung diseases.”

The expenditure plan includes $1.4 billion of discretionary spending. The Senate version increases funds to local air districts by $60 million above Governor Brown’s proposed 2018-2019 budget.  It also increases funding for forest health and fire prevention to $250 million, compared to the Governor’s proposal for $207 million.

Other increases occurred in climate and energy research. The Senate’s Cap and Trade plan calls for $55 million to the Office of Planning and Research, including up to $5 million to fund innovation hubs. The Transformative Climate Communities program would receive $80 million to fund development and infrastructure projects that achieve health, environmental and economic benefits to the state’s most disadvantaged communities.  The Governor proposed funding the program at $25 million.   

Besides the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan, the committee also approved budgeting $25 million for San Francisco Bay wetlands restoration. In June 2016, voters in the nine-county Bay Area region approved Measure AA to invest $500 million over 20 years to restore and protect San Francisco Bay.  But the total cost of protecting the bay is substantially more, and in the absence of available federal funding, the $25 million in state funds is needed to accelerate critical climate adaptation work.

“The San Francisco Bay is an incredible natural resource and we must be as proactive as possible in adapting to our changing climate and making the bay more resilient to sea level rise,” said Wieckowski.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes southern Alameda County and Santa Clara County.