Bill to Bring More Climate Investments to Disadvantaged Communities Passes 1st Senate Hurdle

Contact: Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air, 916-527-8051

SACRAMENTO – On June 29th the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households needing 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, while an additional 20 percent would go to projects that benefit low income households regardless of their location within California.

Advocates for clean air and underserved communities hailed the bill’s steady progress, noting that under AB 1550, climate investments in disadvantaged communities will match the percentage of the state’s population living in those communities, while making sure benefits also reach low-income Californians throughout the state.

Public Advocates Staff Attorney Chelsea Tu said, “With the passage of AB 1550 out of this committee, California has taken another step toward delivering on its promise to bring health and economic benefits to low-income and disadvantaged families and communities from the state’s cap-and-trade revenues.”

SCOPE Research Director Laura Muraida commented, “Today marks a significant step forward as we continue working to shape equitable climate policy that benefits the communities hardest hit by pollution, poverty and disinvestment.”

“Assemblymember Gomez’s bill will help California communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution, poverty and climate change,” said Fabiola Lao, Deputy Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air. “It will help bring clean energy and clean transportation services, such as electric buses, to these communities.”

“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 the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “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.”

“California’s climate policies have already brought real benefits to neighborhoods hit by the worst effects of pollution and poverty, but we can and must do better,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “AB 1550 takes us a major step in the right direction.”

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