Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown to approve cap-and-trade spending plan in Fresno

Gov. Jerry Brown, seated, signs climate legislation while joined by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, in Los Angeles on Sept. 8, 2016.
Gov. Jerry Brown, seated, signs climate legislation while joined by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, in Los Angeles on Sept. 8, 2016. The Associated Press

One week after Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a sweeping expansion of California’s greenhouse gas emission standards, the Democratic governor is set to sign legislation to spend $900 million in revenue from the state’s embattled cap-and-trade program.

The spending plan, which was negotiated by Brown and Democratic legislative leaders, was considered significant to moderate Democrats under pressure in their districts to demonstrate local benefits of California’s climate program. The plan includes money for clean car rebates, inter-city rail and grants to communities with heavy pollution, among other programs.

Brown will promote the legislation at a bill-signing ceremony on a parking garage roof in Fresno at 11:30 a.m. He will also sign a related bill specifically directing cap-and-trade money to poor communities.

Brown is seeking to preserve California’s cap-and-trade program beyond 2020. The future of the program, in which polluters pay to offset carbon emissions under a declining cap on emissions, is uncertain amid an ongoing legal challenge.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Brown rips opponents for trying to “spook people” into voting against his parole measure in November.

ROAD MAP: With the signing of SB 32 last week, Brown put into statute an ambitious environmental goal that he had already ordered California to pursue: reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. How will the transportation sector be a part of reaching that target? Probably not with a 50 percent cut in gasoline use by motor vehicles. The California Air Resources Board hosts a public workshop to help develop its plan, 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA building on I Street.

WORTH REPEATING: “Out-of-state anti-marijuana forces are as sloppy about following the law as they are about checking their facts.” - Proposition 64 spokesman Jason Kinney, on campaign finance complaint

TOBACC-OH NO: Hospitals, doctors, the health workers union and other groups that stand to benefit from more funding for Medi-Cal are lining up with money for Proposition 56, the $2-a-pack increase to California’s cigarette tax, to counter an onslaught from tobacco companies that have already set aside tens of millions of dollars to fight the initiative. But that’s not the kind of storyline that wins a campaign, so proponents are driving home the point that the measure could protect kids by preventing them from starting to smoke. That will be the message when local school officials and the California School Boards Association hold a press conference in support of the initiative, 10 a.m. at the San Diego Unified School District headquarters.

BY THE NUMBERS: California’s vigorous embrace of Obamacare, particularly its sharp expansion of Medi-Cal coverage for the poor, has reduced the state’s medically uninsured population by half. Three years ago, California had one of the nation’s lowest rates of medical insurance coverage, with 17.2 percent of its nearly 40 million residents lacking coverage. But by 2015, its uninsured rate had dropped to 8.6 percent, a new Census Bureau study found.

PLUM TORT: From the Americans With Disabilities Act to the use of private mediation, tort law is never far from the Capitol – including today, when the Independent Voter Project hosts a tort policy conference at the nearby Citizen Hotel on J Street, starting at 10 a.m. Panelists include Assemblymen Adam Gray, D-Merced, who will discuss asbestos lawsuits; Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, for a conversation on privacy and data breaches; and Don Wagner, R-Irvine, who is set to tackle the weighty question: “Is arbitration in California fair?” All three lawmakers also attended IVP’s annual conference in Maui last November.

MOTHER NATURE-LIZATION: Well, this is certainly a nice spot to become an American. Secretary of State Alex Padilla will deliver the keynote remarks at a naturalization ceremony for 55 new citizens at the picturesque Glacier Point Amphitheater in Yosemite National Park at 11 a.m.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, who turns 43 today.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff. Dan Walters of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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