Assembly Republicans Announce Environmental Bill Package

SACRAMENTO- Six members of the Assembly Republican Caucus have introduced bills to address California’s energy and environmental challenges. This package includes budget requests, vegetation management plans, electrified public transit and a park expansion project. These bills will better the lives of all Californians.

Republican Leader Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) submitted a budget request letter to secure money for vegetation management near streets and roads, in an effort to prevent vehicles from sparking roadside brush that could turn into a wildfire. “California’s natural beauty must be cherished and protected for future generations. Unfortunately, our state is at risk of wildfires year-round. We need to make sure we are better prepared for natural disasters,” Assemblywoman Waldron said. “Vegetation management is a vital step to avoiding future wildfire devastation. I hope the Governor also sees it as a budgetary priority.” Request letters will be considered by budget subcommittees this spring.

Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) introduced two bills to help keep California’s environment sustainable. AB 2359 will create a tax credit for homeowners who install a solar power battery bank to accompany their existing solar panels. AB 3046 will establish an Energy Bill of Rights and a council to create solutions to meet the state’s environmental goals without hurting the economy. “For too long, we have sat on the sidelines and watched as members of the Legislature tackled the issue of climate change in drastic and counterintuitive ways,” said Assemblyman Mathis. “I am proposing innovative ways to address the state of our planet that takes the wellbeing of every day Californians into account and makes real change for our state.”

Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) is addressing Californians’ long commute times and the environmental consequences of not taking public transit. Assemblyman Lackey underscored the need for his bill, AB 1848, in a statement, “My district is home to one of the longest commutes in the nation. These commuters are the backbone of our economic success in Southern California and every day they choose between extreme traffic congestion and a failing public transit system” he said. “By transferring $4 billion from High-Speed Rail to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, we encourage commuters to take an active role in the technological advances of the 21st century and a practical step in making California more sustainable.”

Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) introduced three bills to redefine renewable energy sources, provide more money to healthy forest programs and streamline CEQA requirements to reflect the urgent need for climate action. In reference to AB 1941, AB 1942 and AB 2444, Assemblyman Gallagher said “California must get smarter about its climate policies. Century-old infrastructure, tinderbox forests and catastrophic fires have devastated our communities and eliminated our carbon reductions. Republicans have a better way that reduces carbon emissions, prevents catastrophic fire and actually makes energy affordable and safe.”

Assemblyman Philip Chen (R-Brea) introduced AB 2021 that will expand the Chino Hills State Park and give residents the opportunity to utilize the benefits of the outdoors. “California has some of the most beautiful state parks in the world. I am particularly proud of the Chino Hills State Park and this expansion proposal,” said Assemblyman Chen. “By acquiring more land for the park, we encourage our citizens to take pride in their home community. With this expansion, we also support our climate goals by ensuring that state parks and their surrounding areas are cared for.”

Republican Leader Marie Waldron also introduced ACR 157, coauthored by Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee), to celebrate the benefits of California’s natural resources on Arbor Day. “Arbor Day is a chance to highlight the important role trees and vegetation play in keeping our air clean” said Assemblyman Voepel.” March 7th serves as a reminder to plant a tree, prune existing plants to safeguard against fire hazards and appreciate all that nature has to offer.”