SB 518 by Senate Leader de León Will Help Fund Efficiency Projects at Schools Statewide
SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, in a bipartisan vote of 10 to 1, the Senate Energy & Utilities Committee approved legislation to extend and modify The Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will continue funding to school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and community colleges to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects with the goal of reducing operating costs and improving health and safety in public schools.
In 2012, California voters passed Proposition 39, which closed a loophole in the corporate income tax code and allocates revenue to the General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund (The Fund), up to $550 million for five fiscal years, beginning with fiscal year (FY) 2013-14.
“Too often when we talk about education, we neglect the critical role of school facilities,” author of SB 518, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), said. “Having healthy and functional classrooms that are comfortable for our kids and teachers is vital to a quality education.”
Between FY 2013‐14 through FY 2016-17, the state provided $1.4 billion in Proposition 39 revenue for K-12 energy efficiency projects and planning, $165.4 million for community college energy projects, and $56 million for a revolving loan program to fund similar types of projects in both segments, including funding for replacing school buses.
Last week, Senator de León and Senator Steve Bradford (D-Gardena) visited Davis Middle School in the Compton Unified School District and saw some of the improvements they have been able to finance because of Prop 39. Compton Unified qualified for projects to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in its schools. (Footage of the walkthrough can be found here) In addition to ensuring Davis Middle School students and staff can work in a safer and more comfortable environment, the District will realize an annual energy savings of nearly $140,000 per year.