At the Capitol, we have an important deadline approaching on February 17, the last day for bills to be introduced. That means I will soon announce a full 2023 Legislative package, and for now, I have a sneak preview just for you about some of the bills that I’m introducing.
- Keeping Utilities On: As seen in my last newsletter, my first bill this year was Senate Bill 57 which will keep utility services on during extreme weather events. Climate change is having real impacts on our health, safety and environment and it is my priority to ensure our communities have access to the basic services they need, such as gas and electricity, especially during extreme cold or hot weather. More details about this bill coming soon.
- Revitalizing the Clean Transportation Program: As Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I believe it is extremely important to reduce transportation-related emissions to improve air quality and build a healthier future for all Californians. For this reason, I am introducing Senate Bill 84 this legislative session. SB 84 will update and expand California’s Clean Transportation Program to ensure we can achieve current air and climate goals. More information on this bill coming soon.
- The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act: We’re starting the year strong with climate action! I was proud to hold a press conference recently, to announce a Climate Accountability Package that will help raise the bar for corporate climate action. Part of this climate package is a bill I am re-introducing this year, Senate Bill 252 to harnesses the power of California’s public investment funds, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), to push businesses to act on climate change while protecting these vital public funds from fossil fuels’ inherent volatility. It raises the bar for pro-climate investment, setting a standard that could influence how trillions more dollars in investments are apportioned. SB 252 ends California’s contradictory and incongruous policy of being a leader in the fight against climate change, while simultaneously investing billions of dollars of teacher and state-employee retirement funds directly into the fossil fuel corporations that are the leading cause of climate change. Read the fact sheet for SB 252 here, and recent news coverage here.
- Foam-Free Parks: Did you know that California spends an estimated $428 million annually on beach cleanup efforts? In 2018, over 37% of the litter collected on California Coastal Cleanup Day was food packaging. That’s why this year I introduced Senate Bill 378 to protect our scenic oceans, coastline, and recreational protected areas by prohibiting expanded polystyrene (also known as “Styrofoam”) food containers and coolers on State Beaches or State Parks. Read the fact sheet for SB 378 here.
- In the Works: I am very excited to share about all of these bills and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks after our bill introduction deadline on February 17, 2023. Some legislation my team and I are working on currently involve worker protections, health care equity and more on climate and transportation! Stay tuned!