As bills are working their way through the legislature, ClimatePlan wanted to follow-up on some key climate bills we have been supporting. We wrote a blog about it here if you don't remember. We are happy to report that many bills have made it off of the Assembly floor and are heading to the Senate! Senators will have the opportunity to vote on this legislation in the coming weeks. The passage of these pieces of legislation promotes public health, greenhouse gas reductions, equity, a regenerative economy, and better coordination between state agencies and local governments.
AB 2438 (Friedman) Align Transportation Investments with Climate Goals: (SUPPORT) & AB 2237 (Friedman) Align Regional Plans with Climate Goals: (SUPPORT)
AB 2438 & AB 2237 authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and co-sponsored by ClimatePlan, aims to get state and local governments on course to integrate transportation planning and funding with the state’s ambitious climate goals. Both bills incorporate findings and recommendations from the AB 285 report.
Both bills made it off the Assembly floor with 41 votes. The bills will be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, then Senate Transportation Committee. We’ve already sent over this coalition support letter to the committee and welcome any additional support. To amplify AB 2438 & AB 2237 please consider using ClimatePlan’s digital toolkit.
AB 1778 (Garcia) Outlaw Freeway Expansion through Environmental Justice Communities: (SUPPORT)
AB 1778 authored by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia will prohibit the state from funding or permitting transportation projects such as freeway expansions and widening in communities that disproportionately suffer from either toxic vehicle emissions or have high rates of poverty, by using the California Healthy Places Index.
This transformative bill passed the Assembly floor with 41 votes and awaits to be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee. Many organizations in ClimatePlan’s network are working to support and advance this bill. For more updates, consider joining the ClimatePlan policy workgroup.
AB 2419 (Bryan) Justice40 Act: (SUPPORT)
AB 2419 authored by Assemblymember Isaac Bryan ensures that federal climate and infrastructure investment will achieve California’s goals of advancing equity, environmental justice and a economic development by requiring that a minimum 40% of the federal climate, clean energy and infrastructure funds benefit disadvantaged communities, and that an additional 10% of funds benefit low-income communities and households.
With 42 votes the Justice 40 bill lives on! The CA Green New Deal Coalition has been doing a great job getting in letters of support, creating toolkits and promoting this bill. For more updates sign up for their mailing list, here.
AB 1919 (Holden) Fare-Free Youth Transit Passes: (SUPPORT)
AB 1919 authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden will require transit agencies to offer free youth transit passes to Californians that are 25 years old and younger, regardless of immigration status. This bill would create a five-year pilot program that will help offset the costs to transit agencies. This would help decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve quality public transit options by expanding transportation opportunities to young people and encourage them to develop lifelong ridership habits.
With 74 yes votes and no opposition the fare-free youth passes bill moves to the Senate with overwhelming support. This bill has seen various amendments to address the concerns of rural transit agencies, and overall, Asm. Holden’s office and MoveLA has done a dynamic job building support for this bill. We hope the Senate follows suit. Free Passes for Youth!
AB 2076 (Rivas & Garcia) Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program:
AB 2076 co-authored by Assemblymembers Luz Rivas & Cristina Garcia will protect communities from the rising threats of climate-change-fueled extreme heat waves by requiring an appointment of a Chief Heat Office to implement the program and establish the Interagency Heat taskforce. This bill would also require the development of a Comprehensive Heat Action Plan that establishes programs that are community driven. The bill will also require the creation of a robust heat Hospitalization and Death and Health reporting System: a syndromic surveillance system to receive notice and data from local health departments, clinics, emergency rooms, hospitals and other sources of illnesses, including emergency room visits, and deaths resulting from extreme heat waves.
As we get close to the summer, the urgency of this bill is becoming more and more apparent. The Assembly seemed to take notice as the bill passed the floor with 73 votes. Soon the bill will be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality (EQ) Committee on June 8th. See a letter of support from advocates for AB 2076 here.
AB 2147 (Ting) Freedom To Walk Act: (SUPPORT)
AB 2147 co-authored by Assemblymembers Phil Ting & Laura Friedman will prohibit a police officer from stopping and citing a pedestrian for jaywalking. The bill aims to reduce the number of jaywalking citations as they disproportionately impact people of color. Data has shown that jaywalking citations don’t increase safety but rather perpetuate dangerous pretext to stop Black and Brown people.
Last year the Freedom to Walk Act successfully passed through the Assembly and Senate floors but was stopped at the Governor’s desk. It easily passed the Assembly floor with 50 votes and will be moving to the Senate Public Safety Committee. For updates on this bill, ClimatePlan’s policy workgroup is the place to go.
The above bills are not an exhaustive list of all the climate, transportation, land use and environmental justice bills being heard in the legislature this year. If there are bills that you feel the ClimatePlan network should be following and promoting please let us know. If you would like to be added to the ClimatePlan policy workgroup, please contact Sandy Naranjo, [email protected].