California Policy Roundup

Today in voting, Civinomics brings you several California issues to weigh in on.

One of the biggest pieces of news to come out over the last week was California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, declared his intention to run for Governor in 2018. Wait a minute – you might think -2018? Isn’t there this presidential election thing happening in 2016? Do I really need to start thinking about an election that is four years down the road?

Some might say that Newsom’s bluff was called when Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she would be retiring at the end of her term. Would he enter into that fray and face Attorney General Kamala Harris, the pundits pundited? Evidently not – in his announcement, Newsom declared that he has “unfinished work” in California.

In his bid for governor, Newsom has said that economic development will be one of his highest priorities, as will climate change and education improvement. He has also come out in favor of legalizing recreational use of marijuana. No other candidate has yet declared, but some other figures who are believed to be considering a run include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, billionaire activist Tom Steyer, as well as the defeated gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.

Would you support Gavin Newsom for governor?

Current lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom has recently announced his intention to run for California governor in 2018.

Looking at what’s coming down the California legislative pipeline, last week Central Coast State Senator Bill Monning re-introduced legislation to slap warning labels on sugary drinks, mostly targeted at soda. Throughout his career, Monning has crusaded against the beverage industry, and this current attempt would target drinks with at least 75 calories per 12 ounces. The label would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

Perhaps emboldened by the the recent passage of the first ever sugary beverage tax in Berkeley, advocates of the measure say that this will help consumers make informed choices about their diets. Opponents, most notably the American Beverage Association, say that consumers already have sufficient information to be able to make decisions about their health.

Should California Put Warning Labels on Sugary Drinks?

State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has proposed legislation that would require sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks to have a prominently displayed warning label that states the health risks of drinks with added sugar.

Finally, last week saw four new proposed state laws meant to combat climate change and promote the use of clean energy throughout California. First there’s SB 350, which would require that by 2030 utilities in the state produce at least 50% of their energy from renewable sources, as well as to increase building standards to improve energy efficiency. Then there’s SB 185, which would require that two major state retirement funds, the California Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teacher’s Retirement System, to divest from companies with 50% or more of their revenues in coal mining or coal burning. Thirdly, SB 189 would create a seven member committee that would advise the state on clean energy and climate policies that could spur economic growth and create jobs. Last but certainly not least is SB 32. Some might recall California’s landmark environmental law, AB 32, which requires the state to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. SB 32 would require that the state to reduce emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Learn more and cast your vote on all these proposals below.

SB 350 – 50% Renewable Energy From California Utilities

SB 350 would require that by 2030 utilities in the state produce at least 50% of their energy from renewable sources, as well as to increase building standards to increase energy efficiency..

Senate Bill 185: Public Pension Funds Shift Investments

SB 185 would require that two major state funds, the California Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teacher’s Retirement System, divest from companies with 50% or more of their revenues in coal mining or coal burning..

Senate Bill 189: Committee To Advise The State on Clean Energy and Climate Policies

SB 189 calls for the creation of the Committee on Maximizing Jobs and Economic Growth, a seven-person group that will advise the state annually on clean energy and climate policies that could spur economic growth and create jobs.

SB 32 – Reduce California Emissions To 80% Below 1990 Levels

California’s landmark environmental law, AB 32 of 2006, required the state to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

 

 

 

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