TransForm statement on Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2015

Contact:

Joshua Stark, State Policy Director: 916-893-2181 or jstark@transformca.org
Shannon Tracey, Communications Director: 510-338-2937 or shannon@transformca.org

This morning, Governor Brown released his revised state budget for fiscal year 2015-2016.  Due to higher-than-projected revenues from the state’s cap-and-trade climate program, the budget revise more than doubles the funding for climate protection to a total of $2.2 billion.

In response, TransForm State Policy Director Joshua Stark issued the following statement:

“With this budget, Californians can get to work literally building our future.

“Thanks to a doubling of cap-and-trade revenues, we will see new jobs building transit and affordable homes, better connections to jobs in existing neighborhoods, and savings on housing costs that translate into more spending money for working families.

“This week, Silicon Valley CEOs made clear that we need better transportation choices and more affordable homes choices to stay competitive in the global economy.  This budget directs $1.6 billion from carbon pollution permits to providing that edge, while fighting climate change.  This is a huge win for commuters, our communities, and the climate.”

“We applaud the Governor and our state leaders for prioritizing climate solutions that will improve people’s lives now by boosting the economy, protecting our health, and - by providing direct assistance to disadvantaged communities - expanding opportunity for all Californians. 

“At the same time, we are concerned about the lack of adequate funding for safe biking and walking. Since Caltrans is starting to include people who walk and bike in their transportation plans, it’s critical that the Active Transportation Program receive sufficient funding to meet the demand for safer pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

“We urge the Legislature to continue investing in healthy, thriving communities by:

  • Approving this budget’s call to increase funding for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, to boost investment in sustainable communities statewide
  • Continuing to prioritize investments in public transportation, affordable homes near transit, and safer walking and biking as the cap-and-trade program continues to grow
  • Including innovative transportation strategies like free youth transit passes in the next Cap-and-Trade Investment Plan
  • Increasing allocations to the underfunded Active Transportation Program to help meet the state’s new goal of tripling bicycle trips and doubling walking trips by 2020

“These programs don’t just provide funding, but they are developing cutting-edge guidelines that reduce climate pollution while making our communities more affordable.  California is blazing a path for other states and countries to follow.”

TransForm is creating a searchable online map of investments from California’s cap-and-trade program to show how these investments improve people’s lives.  To learn more and sign up for updates, visit: climatebenefitsca.org

The full text of the May Revision can be found at: www.ebudget.ca.gov

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