Green Jobs Bill Heads to the Governor To Help California’s Recovery
Sacramento – To help build California’s economy back up, state lawmakers today sent to the Governor AB 841 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), a jobs bill that not only puts people to work, but also leads to healthier schools and a greener transportation sector.
“Earning a paycheck is crucial for so many families right now. We need to jumpstart projects that can begin in a matter of months and pay good wages. In the end, my proposal will improve public health and the environment. We all win on so many levels,” said Ting.
AB 841 has two components. First, it temporarily redirects unspent energy efficiency funds from investor-owned utility companies and creates a grant program that schools can use to upgrade their HVAC systems and water fixtures. Poor ventilation is known to have negative impacts on student health and learning. And since COVID-19, experts recommend increasing the air flow in public schools to reduce the spread of the virus. Applications from campuses in low-income communities would receive first priority.
In addition, grants can be used to replace old plumbing fixtures, which often leech lead into students’ drinking water. New pipes also result in better water conservation, saving up to six billion gallons a year.
The second component of AB 841 pertains to the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, requiring the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to act on long-pending applications by March 1, 2021. The current years-long backlog is slowing work orders, and faster approvals would increase the demand for EVs. Consumers have often said they won’t switch to a cleaner car because of the lack of charging stations. Added locations would help more drivers make the transition – a move that lowers our greenhouse gas emissions and ramps up our fight against global warming.
AB 841 achieves a priority from the Joint Economic Stimulus Plan unveiled last month – to improve the environment, combat climate change, and create green infrastructure and jobs. As with all bills sent to the Governor this month by the August 31 deadline, he has until September 30 to act.
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