Spend­ing cap-and-trade money

Law­mak­ers post­pone talks on how to al­lot over $1 bil­lion in fees.

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Phil Wil­lon phil.wil­lon@la­times.com Twit­ter: @philwillon

SACRA­MENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and Demo­cratic leg­isla­tive lead­ers, cur­rently in talks over next year’s bud­get, post­poned ne­go­ti­a­tions Fri­day over how to spend more than $1 bil­lion raised by fees on pol­luters.

At is­sue is roughly 40% of the $2.2 bil­lion in rev­enue ex­pected to be raised by Cal­i­for­nia’s cap-and-trade pro­gram, in which per­mits to pol­lute are traded and fees levied. Rev­enue has surged be­cause cap and trade now ap­plies to trans­porta­tion fu­els, the source of roughly 40% of the state’s car­bon emis­sions.

The gover­nor, As­sem­bly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Se­nate Pres­i­dent Kevin de León (D-Los An­ge­les) agreed to de­tach those ne­go­ti­a­tions from the over­all bud­get process. The Leg­is­la­ture is re­quired to pass a bud­get by June 15.

“This will en­sure that there’s am­ple time to put in place a thought­ful ex­pen­di­ture plan,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown’s Depart­ment of Fi­nance.

Palmer said the de­lay will not vi­o­late the con­sti­tu­tion­ally man­dated June 15 bud­get dead­line be­cause the amount of cap-and-trade fund­ing that will be ap­pro­pri­ated will not change.

An an­nual frame­work on how the state will spend 60% of that money was ap­proved by law­mak­ers last year. Each year, the $68-bil­lion bul­let train will re­ceive 25% of the cap-and-trade funds, while 35% goes to af­ford­able hous- ing and other trans­porta­tion pro­grams.

Both Brown and law­mak­ers have an abun­dance of ideas on how to spend the re­main­der, in­clud­ing re­new­able en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion projects and pro­pos­als to help Cal­i­for­nia deal with the con­tin­u­ing drought.

Luis Sinco Los An­ge­les Times

EACH YEAR, the bul­let train will re­ceive 25% of cap-and-trade funds, while 35% goes to hous­ing and other trans­porta­tion pro­grams.

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