News from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia:
Sacramento, CA: Yesterday, the California State Assembly voted to approve eight more of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) measures. These bills focus on critical district concerns such as improving special needs services, building safer communities, and ensuring greater accountability for Salton Sea mitigation.
“I am grateful to have garnered the support of my Assembly colleagues to advance more of our locally stemmed legislation. These measures will allow us to tackle an assortment of issues brought to our attention from my constituents such as improving the ability of California’s network of Family Empowerment Centers to provide services to children with special needs and their families, making investments in community-led violence prevention resources, as well as establishing a dedicated office in the Natural Resources Agency with the sole purpose of keeping our state accountable to its commitment to our Salton Sea,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
AB 56 – California Clean Energy Authority: This bill would establish the California Clean Energy Authority (Authority) as a new, public non-profit benefit corporation with an appointed board. The Authority would function as a non-profit utility regulated by the state. The Authority would be created with a one-time loan from the General Fund, and would receive cost recovery through a nonbypassable rate paid by customers who benefit from the purchases made by the Authority.
AB 236: Special Education Programs: Family Empowerment Centers on Disability: This bill would support the critical work of California’s network of Family Empowerment Centers and ensure that children with disabilities have the tools they need to thrive.
AB 352 – Climate Investment Equity: This bill seeks to improve access to programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund by expanding the list of co-benefits, aligning application scoring with implementation of AB 617 (Chaptered 2017), and reporting on applications received so the Legislature can better understand where outstanding funding needs persist. It also asks administering agencies to ensure there is at least a three month gap between a competitive call for proposals and due dates for those proposals, and to reevaluate their scoring criteria to ensure jurisdictions are able to compete regardless of their baseline residential size or density.
AB 386 – Agricultural Working Poor Energy Efficient Housing Program: This bill establishes the Agricultural Working Poor Energy Efficient Housing Program (Program) within the Department of Community Services and Development. It will specifically require that the Program and funds be used to improve energy efficiency in farmworker housing in the following ways: weatherization of residences, replacement of energy inefficient appliances, replacement of lighting, installation of photovoltaic solar panels and solar water heating systems and Installation of battery backups. The measure also requires that the Program is developed to be compatible with the state’s current energy goals and to avoid duplicating any current energy efficiency programs.
AB 656 – Office of Healthy and Safe Communities: This bill establishes an Office of Healthy and Safe Communities (OHSC) to consolidate and coordinate programming to end cycles of violence and invest in prevention, healing, and community-driven solutions. Inspired by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-02-19 which appoints a Surgeon General to advise the Governor on policy to address the root causes of health inequities, the OHSC will be overseen by the Surgeon General as the proposed office aligns with the purpose of this new role and position.
AB 753 – Low Carbon Fuels: This bill would require the California Energy Commission to set aside at least 30% of AB 118 funds and the California Air Resources Board to set aside at least 30% of the Low Carbon Transportation Fund. This new pot of money shall be used for the production of innovative and emerging fuels, or for fuel infrastructure with a 25% set aside for innovative and emerging fuels. The measure would further direct the agencies to prioritize funding to projects that align with other state goals such as methane mitigation or local workforce benefits.
AB 1010 – Native American Housing Eligibility: This bill would allow duly constituted governing bodies of a Native American reservation or Rancheria to become eligible applicants to participate in affordable housing programs.
AB 1657 – Office of the Salton Sea and Salton Sea Oversight Committee: This bill would establish the Office of the Salton Sea within the Natural Resources Agency; equipped with the staffing necessary to ensure oversight and the timely execution of the ten-year plan. The creation of a dedicated office with staffing will not only help the state keep on target with established mitigation benchmarks but also allow to state to proactively engage on next steps.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.