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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: SB32 Caps 14-Year Leg Career | 09-16-2016
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Commentary by Sen. Fran Pavley
| Friday, Sep 16, 2016
Fran Pavley

Fran Pavley

The 2016 legislative year – the 14th and final year I was privileged to represent Los Angeles and Ventura County residents in the Assembly and Senate – ended with a resounding and historic commitment to California’s clean-energy future.

Most significant was the passage of SB 32, my bill to put into law targets for reducing climate pollution through 2030. Gov. Jerry Brown heralded that action at a Capitol news conference shortly after the Senate voted to send the bill to his desk, and signed it in a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 8.

That action was among the highlights of a productive end to a productive year in the Legislature – a year that included passage of an urgency law to prevent gas injections at the Aliso Canyon storage field until all wells either pass a rigorous regimen of safety tests or are plugged and isolated from the field, approval of a critically needed funding increase for services for the developmentally disabled, and a record investment in public education.

My colleagues and I watched the vote come in during the concurrence of amendments on SB 32 in the Senate. From left are Senator Bill Monning, myself, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and Senator Marty Block.

My colleagues and I watched the vote come in during the concurrence of amendments on SB 32 in the Senate. From left are Senator Bill Monning, myself, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and Senator Marty Block.

By enacting SB 32 into law, the state is sending a powerful market signal to clean-energy entrepreneurs that California will remain the nation’s premier place to invest in the 21st century, clean-energy economy – to develop and market biofuels, to refine energy storage, to design and build zero-emission vehicles, and to invent the energy-saving products all the world is hungering for.

To incentivize such investment, legislators and Gov. Brown agreed to appropriate $900 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which is money that comes from proceeds of the auction of emissions allowances under the cap-and-trade program.

Among the investments will be $133 million for rebates to consumers who purchase clean vehicles, $150 million for less-polluting heavy-duty vehicles, $135 million for transit and intercity rail programs, $140 million in grants for transformative climate communities, and $80 million for the Natural Resources Agency’s Urban Greening program.

These expenditures will bring the total amount of cap-and-trade investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to $3.2 billion.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed my SB 32 and its companion bill AB 197 at a ceremony in Vista Hermosa Natural Park in Los Angeles.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed my SB 32 and its companion bill AB 197 at a ceremony in Vista Hermosa Natural Park in Los Angeles.

SB 32 was one of a package of important energy and climate bills that advanced to the governor’s desk in the final week of August. Others included SB 1383 by Senator Ricardo Lara, which sets targets for reducing emissions of so-called “super-pollutants,” which are gases such as methane that don’t last as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide but have a much greater short-term impact on global warming.

In addition, AB 197 by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, AB 1550 by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and AB 2722 by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke create policies to ensure that emphasis and resources are directed at addressing the impacts of climate change on disadvantaged communities that have historically suffered most from pollution.

The governor also has before him legislation I authored in the areas of women’s reproductive health, natural gas storage well safety and revitalizing California’s magnificent state parks.

SB 999, which received bipartisan support in the Legislature, will allow doctors to prescribe up to a year’s supply of contraceptives. This change that will eliminate the need to refill prescriptions every 30 or 90 days and, more importantly, will reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions by making birth control more consistent and, as a result, more effective.

SB 887 will establish safety reforms at all natural gas storage wells in California, with the goal of preventing another Aliso Canyon-like disaster. It will require continuous air monitoring to detect concentrations of gas and regular inspections to ensure the mechanical integrity of wells. In addition, it will require that wells be designed with redundant safety features that will ensure that no single point of failure can result in a leak.

SB 1111 follows through on recommendations made by the respected Parks Forward Commission by creating the framework that will allow a nonprofit entity to raise private funds for parks and conduct marketing programs to increase public awareness and use of state parks.

 

Fran Pavley represents California’s 27th Senate District, which includes western portions of the Santa Clarita Valley.

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