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Report: California Should Have Flexibility To Spend Funds

ribarnica / Flickr
 

ribarnica / Flickr

(AP) - An independent analysis says California lawmakers should have more flexibility to spend billions of dollars collected through the state's landmark cap-and-trade program.

The Legislative Analyst's Office reported Thursday that current restrictions aren't needed for California to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The law requires the state to spend the money on efforts to reduce emissions.

California in 2012 started to limit how much pollution businesses can spew, making them buy allowances at auction.

The restrictions have created a backlog of unspent cap-and-trade money.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a leader in the global fight to curb climate change, proposes spending $3.1 billion of the money next year.

The analysis says making money isn't a primary goal; lawmakers should be able spend it on other areas of need in the state.