It's been a busy couple of weeks in the state legislature! There have been plenty of ups and downs, and there's still more than a week for bills to be passed out of their second houses.
The news I'm most excited about is that on Tuesday the State Senate passed AB 1319, banning the toxic chemical BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. CLCV has been working on passing this ban for several years so we're ecstatic to pass another milestone. Thanks to author Assemblymember Betsy Butler for her work on this bill and to Senator Kevin de León for championing the bill on the Senate floor!
The Senate vote was just as narrow as the Assembly vote - 21-12 (21 is the minimum number of votes required for passage) so we're not taking anything for granted at this point. AB 1319 heads back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote and then to the Governor. Sign our petition today to urge Governor Brown to protect our children by signing this bill.
Much happened on CLCV and Green California's other priority bills since my last update on August 15th, so here's a quick run-down.
Held in appropriations - We'll keep working next year
Though most of our priority bills made it to the floor, several were held in appropriations committees. Since the legislative session is two years long, we will have an opportunity to pass these bills next year:
On the floor
Several bills are on the floor and must pass their second houses by next Friday, September 9th.
AB 628 (Conway): Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: County of Inyo
AB 1178 (Ma): Solid Waste- Place of Origin
Passed by second houses
Other bills have already passed their second houses. If they've been amended, they go back to their first houses for concurrence; if they haven't, they go straight to Governor Brown:
A new bill
Even though the legislative session is winding down, several new bills are being introduced (or old bills are being substantially changed). One new critical bill is Senate Bill 791, which Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg just introduced and which empowers regional transportation agencies to develop transportation improvements through a per-gallon fee on local fuel purchases. All such increases would require approval from a majority of local voters.
Currently, 65% of harmful air pollution in California comes from transportation. In 2009, idling and traffic delays in California led to the burning of 682 million gallons of excess gasoline, contributing significantly to local air and greenhouse gas pollution.
Improving our transportation systems means more, better transportation choices, which means fewer people in cars and reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
We have less than two weeks to pass this bill before the legislative session ends. That’s why we need your help today. Please take action now: Urge support of SB 791 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health of our environment.
More to come...
Floor session is happening in both houses as I write so this post will be out of date quickly, as we pass more of our priority bills. Check back here next week for another update.