Senator Becker Statement on the May Revise CA Must Remain Committed to Its Climate Goals
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Newsom released his May Revision, and Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), the Chairman of the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee’s Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy, responded:
“The Senate’s budget proposal protects many programs and prepares the state to access federal climate dollars through matching and technical assistance, which are absent in the Governor’s proposal. My colleagues and I will continue to advocate and work with the Newsom administration to enact responsible ways to maintain critical investments and prevent backsliding on our climate progress.”
The May Revision cuts various critical climate and energy programs, which were otherwise maintained in the Senate’s plan. The May Revision does not adequately support the investment in clean energy infrastructure, continues to delay funds for building decarbonization and funding for nascent climate technologies critical to implement the Scoping Plan, and lacks investments to match federal funding matching requirements, such as for developing community solar. The proposal additionally locks programs into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, eliminating the opportunity for further climate program priorities.
“I am worried about the state’s ability to meet its climate targets with the current levels of investment,” said Senator Becker. “The state needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, which we are not currently on track to meet. We need urgent action to get back on track.”
The May Revision recommends cutting various programs and shifting them into a climate resilience bond, including recommending $270 million to water recycling, $100 million to the Transformative Climate Communities Program, $100 million for Regional Resilience Programs, and $100 million toward urban greening.
“I am supportive of some programmatic shifts to a climate resilience bond, and will work with my colleagues to incorporate these into the Natural Resources bond I am authoring, SB 867,” said Senator Becker. “I’m going to fight for this bond to continue supporting the state’s natural resources and climate adaptation.”
The proposal additionally includes language to raise the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) revenue surcharge to supplement the energy Resource Program Account provides resources, which support the agencies operations, and to implement special session legislation to create a Windfall Tax, SBX1 2 (Skinner, 2023).
“I'm happy to see the state get going on the gas price gouging legislation the Senate passed earlier this year. It’s time we hold polluters accountable,” Becker said.
First elected in 2020, Senator Becker represents the 13th Senate District covering portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.