California State Legislative Summary – 2017

October 15 was the deadline for the Governor to sign legislation and with that deadline now passed, the 2017 session, the first year of a two-year session, has drawn to a close. We tracked several bills directly and indirectly related to Community Choice, as well as several others of interest to the climate, clean energy, and clean transportation communities.

The good news is that although several bills were introduced that might have negatively impacted Community Choice, all of them were either amended favorably or died a natural legislative death. Bills directly affecting Community Choice included SB 618 (Bradford), AB 649, (Dahle), and AB 79 (Levine). Community Choice alarm bells rang early in the session over SB 618, a Bradford bill that as introduced, would have effectively handed control of Community Choice agency (CCA) energy portfolio design to the CPUC. Energy portfolio design is one of the key statutory authorities of CCAs and losing it would be a major blow to all CCAs.

The not so great news is that late in the session a dynamic emerged where two bills relating to regionalization of the California electrical grid AB 726 and AB 813, were amended to include language that would halt the formation of new CCAs. The CCA lobbying forces were able to stop the bills from moving in 2017, but in the process, SB 100, the 100% renewable energy by 2045 bill, was also held up. All three bills became two-year bills, so we can expect a renewed battle in 2018.

Some bills indirectly related to Community Choice but of interest to anyone who cares about the climate crisis and advancing clean energy are in various states of play. This includes AB 262, the “Buy Clean California” bill, was signed by the governor. Two bills by San Francisco’s Scott Wiener, SB 71 (solar mandate), SB 700 (California Storage Initiative), will both come up again in 2018.

Two bills related to the state’s carbon “Cap & Trade” program were introduced, one, the governor-supported AB 398 that extends the current program to 2030, was enacted to the chagrin of many Fee & Dividend activists, while SB 775, widely regarded as a superior revision of the Cap & Trade program, remains as a two-year bill with an uncertain future.

Click HERE for a listing of the bills we tracked with a brief description of what they are or were about, and their status. The bill numbers on the left link to the California’s legislative info page.

The 2018 session begins on January 3rd. For general information about legislation, click HERE. To find your representative, click HERE.

See you in 2018!

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