Historic Surplus Should Invest in Low Income Environmental Justice Communities

Read and download CEJA’s budget priorities here.

Last month, the Governor announced a historic budget surplus along with a proposal for the 2021 state budget. The Governor’s budget included some good starting points: 

  • $2 billion for energy and water utility debt 
  • $5.2 billion for housing debt relief
  • $420 million for the Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC)

But as drought conditions worsen, fires start to burn through Southern California and state regulators resolve to keep polluting gas power plants online, we know our communities will face blackouts and continued heatwaves this summer. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has spent $4.3 million in Sacramento to oppose life-saving bills – and it’s only June. 

 That’s why we’re fighting to add these environmental justice priorities to the budget:

  • $3 billion for energy and water debt relief
  • $1 billion for community resilience hubs 
  • $2 billion for climate remediation high roads job program at DTSC and CalGEM to address orphaned wells, brown fields, refineries and climate resilience
  • $420 million for Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC)
  • $500 million for Transportation Equity projects 
  • Eliminate funding for dairy digesters that contaminate groundwater and increase air pollution in EJ communities 

We urge the Governor and legislature to support community resilience and community-led solutions to the climate crisis as we continue to fight for utility debt relief for the most vulnerable communities and necessary investments in critical environmental justice programs. 

Now is the time to invest in disaster preparedness and plan to create historic high roads climate job training and continue to strengthen existing programs for emissions reductions, including AB 617. 

Here are three actions you can take today to support our work:

  1. Read and share CEJA’s budget priorities here.
  2. Sign the petition to encourage Governor Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins to support climate resilience hubs today. 
  3. Support the campaign for utility debt relief by taking action on June 15th. 

For more information, please contact:

Tiffany Eng (tiffany@caleja.org), Neena Mohan (neena@caleja.org), and Alexis Sutterman (alexis@caleja.org)