State Budget: Good Start, but Investments in Climate Solutions Can't Wait


Governor Brown announced his 2016-17 proposed State Budget this morning. Overall, NRDC welcomes these growing investments in public health and environmental protection. From protecting consumers from unwarranted antibiotic use in food to curbing illegal ivory sales, restoring the San Joaquin River, expanding the international coalition committed to combatting climate change, managing sea level rise with better coastal planning and more, there are many targeted investments that represent real progress. While we are still analyzing budget details, we do want to highlight the need for the Governor and Legislature to move quickly to get California's climate investments out the door to combat climate change and speed the transition to clean energy in our communities. Billions in the fund remain unspent from this fiscal year, and the Governor's budget proposes for the money to be rolled over into next year's budget. The Legislature and Governor should not delay funding for projects that benefit the communities who need it most - low-income Californians suffering disproportionately from air pollution. One successful program that would be jeopardized by this move is Charge Ahead California, a priority for NRDC, because it is helping to make clean transportation options available and affordable to more Californians. The program provides funding for electric vehicle rebates, equity programs that help low-income families replace dirty clunkers, transit improvements like car-sharing, vanpools, and public fleets, and advances in the trucking sector needed for the Valley and South Coast to meet federal air quality standards. Without reliable funding immediately, the program could sputter, delaying the benefits of clean air and low carbon transportation for communities that need it now.