California lawmakers have voted on how to spend almost $1.5 billion collected through the state’s cap-and-trade program.
California businesses buy credits under the state’s program, which allows them to release carbon emissions. Sixty percent of the money the state collects from those businesses gets spent automatically. The high-speed rail project receives a quarter of the dollars.
Lawmakers must decide how to allocate the other 40 percent. This year, they’re directing more money for rebates for drivers who buy zero-emission vehicles ($200 million) and to help fight forest fires ($230 million).
Gov. Jerry Brown had proposed cutting programs to weatherize homes of low-income residents and for urban greening programs, which plant trees and vegetation in disadvantaged communities.
While the spending bill contains less money than last year for those programs, it ultimately retains them.