OAKLAND, CA, January 8, 2021 – Gov. Newsom’s proposed 2021-22 California budget short-changes programs financed by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that reduce pollution and boost the economies of underserved communities, The Greenlining Institute said today. 

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is meant to cut pollution and greenhouse gases in our must impacted communities,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debvra Gore-Mann. “Funding for wildfires should come from the utilities whose recklessness led to so many problems, so that we can maximize funds needed to fight pollution and build resilience in low-income communities of color.”

Sanchez noted that while some of the expenditures listed in the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan include important funding for programs with strong equity design and implementation like Clean Cars for All, it also continues to prioritize funding for AB 617 implementation, which needs fundamental, equity-centered improvements in order to better meet community needs — including emission reductions that are accountable to community priorities. “Real equity addresses the community’s priorities, driven by the needs of those in the most polluted and underserved neighborhoods,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “California has great programs designed to do that, like Transformative Climate Communities and the Regional Climate Collaboratives created by SB 1072, but those programs get no money at all in this proposal.”

While the proposed budget includes important investments in broadband, housing, clean transportation and relief for families and small businesses, including $575 million in much-needed aid for small businesses and nonprofits, gaps remain. For example, critical investments are still needed to eliminate growing utility debt for low-income families, Gore-Mann said. “These important programs should be funded by taxing California’s growing population of billionaires.” 

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.