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Climate Bills Move Forward At The State Capitol

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) celebrates his chamber's passage of legislation that would implement Gov. Jerry Brown's greenhouse gas reduction goals Wednesday at the state Capitol in Sacramento.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers have advanced several measures intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades.

Legislation that would implement goals set earlier this year by Gov. Jerry Brown is on its way to the Assembly after passing the Senate.

A bill by Democratic Senate Leader Kevin de León would increase the amount of electricity from renewable sources, cut petroleum use in half, and increase energy efficiency.

“That’s good when you can have more money to spend on your family and you’re polluting less. So all we’re asking, quite frankly, is for the technologies to be innovative and demand more value for taxpayers in California,” De León said.

The Senate also approved a bill requiring an overall emissions reduction of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The measures drew criticism from Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff called Democrats’ goals of reducing emissions while saving money a “pipe dream.”

“We feel good that we’re leading the world. And yet, we’re leaving many of our own hard-working families behind, because they’re not benefitting,” Huff said.

The Assembly, meanwhile, sent the Senate a measure that would permanently extend California’s cap-and-trade program.

In other legislative action Wednesday:

  • The California Senate has approved a bill that would allow child care providers to unionize. 
  • Under another bill passed by the Senate, a judge would have to approve a search warrant before a law enforcement agency could search private email and other electronic communications.
  • The Assembly passed a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to collect data on police stops. The measure intended to reduce racial profiling passed by a single vote.

All measures now move to the opposite chamber.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio