GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO GROW QUALITY JOBS IN INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMS
Sacramento, Calif. – On Monday, July 10, 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that will enhance California’s job training pipeline, community benefits, and jobs standards in state and federal infrastructure programs. The Governor was joined by the joint authors of Senate Bill (SB) 150: Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles), and Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley).
SB 150 is part of a greater infrastructure streamlining package initiated by Governor Newsom to address climate change and modernize California’s transportation system. SB 150 will embed workforce and community benefit incentives into state and federal infrastructure programs including the federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. These federal programs, signed into law by the Biden-Harris Administration, will collectively invest approximately $752 billion into roads, bridges, and rail systems. The investments will also improve public access to clean drinking water and affordable high-speed internet, and they will support sustainable green industry and semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing.
“California is maximizing state and federal dollars to build the climate-ready and robust infrastructure we need to protect and prepare our communities for the future. As we build this infrastructure, California is going above and beyond federal job standards to ensure that historically disadvantaged communities can benefit from these projects,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “SB 150, which was signed into law today, will ensure equitable access to career opportunities and good-paying jobs for our workers in the green economy now and for years to come. I am thankful to Governor Newsom for signing the bill and to my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting the measure. I am proud of the step our state has taken today to strengthen our commitment to our working families, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have for communities across the state.”
“As we prepare for a changing climate, we all also need to position California’s workforce to meet the needs for sustainable industry in the 21st century,” said Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose). “Over the past few years, my fellow lawmakers and I have doubled down on bridging the gap between green energy and middle class employment. SB 150 sets an exciting new bar! By harnessing both state and federal investments, and surpassing the job requirements established by the federal government, we are establishing the groundwork for the next generation of good-paying, eco-friendly jobs. This historic legislation puts California to work as we build resilience into our environment and economy.”
“Most poor people work, often full time and more than one job. The problem isn’t that Californians don’t have jobs, or that our historic investments won’t create jobs. It’s that more people need access to good jobs,” said Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles). “In the midst of this industry-changing moment in the infrastructure, manufacturing, and sustainability sectors, SB 150 is about bringing the same intentionality that exists for reducing carbon emissions to our role in creating good jobs with taxpayer investments.”
“Creating equitable job programs are essential for California’s working families, who have already been overwhelmed by the pandemic and are now facing a recessionary climate,” said Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles). “The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that nearly 90 percent of Black Americans comprise those who are unemployed in the U.S., with California reflecting similar unemployment disparities. So it was absolutely vital that we ensured SB 150 prioritizes equitable hiring for Black workers as well as other workers of color from marginalized communities.”
“California was home to a thriving manufacturing industry, even giving communities like mine an opportunity to the California Dream. However, the changing demands of our economy caused those industries to abandon the state leaving many residents without a well-paying job. SB 150 provides a unique opportunity to promote equity in access to high-paying construction and manufacturing jobs to maximize benefits to communities like mine that have been historically marginalized in creating career pathways, and brings back jobs to California,” said Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley). “I want to thank my colleagues and the Governor for addressing California’s infrastructure concerns, while also providing a career pipeline for disadvantaged communities.”
“We’re grateful for the signing of SB 150 and how it will bring promising job opportunities for Black workers and other workers of color,” said Elda Solomon, Policy Manager for the Southern California Black Worker Hub, one of the coalition partners of SB 150. “But this is just the beginning for the work ahead for SB 150. We have to make sure that California leverages this bill to truly invest in good jobs for our hardest hit communities.”
“We applaud Senators Durazo, Smallwood-Cuevas, Gonzalez, and Cortese, and Assembly Member Rivas for working tirelessly to ensure the massive federal spending packages are used to benefit California workers and communities. As we build a clean energy future, SB 150 takes an important step in helping workers and communities build real partnerships with Clean Tech companies to create high quality, middle class careers within the green economy” said Madeline Janis, Co-Executive Director of Jobs to Move America. “For too long we have allowed companies to line their pockets with public tax dollars while creating low paying and low quality jobs. Now is the time to work together to achieve a green economy that works for all Californians.”
Watch the full press conference video, here.