CA Senate Approves Climate Resiliency Bond for 2024 Ballot, Measure Moves on to CA Assembly

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and joint authors today highlighted the California Senate’s approval of SB 867, a state general obligation bond to address California’s need to protect communities and natural resources from the impacts of climate change. If approved by both houses and signed by the Governor, California voters would see the $15.5 billion bond measure on a 2024 statewide ballot. The initiative dedicates funding to projects to reduce fire risk near communities and ensure forests are healthy enough to withstand more intense wildfires; reduce the risk of catastrophic flood events by slowing and capturing runoff, which will improve groundwater infiltration and help to stabilize drinking water supplies; protect coastal communities from sea-level rise; and help urban communities adapt to rising temperatures by reducing heat-island effects through greening projects and supportive measures such as cooling centers.

“All around the state, we see the evidence of climate change, with monumental threats from sea-level rise, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and more. SB 867 seeks to provide crucial investments that build upon foundational state expenditures in recent years,” said Senator Allen, who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and co-chairs the Legislative Environmental Caucus. “Beyond the annual budgetary ebb and flow, the bond will ensure continued funding to mitigate climate impacts; safeguard our drinking water and food supplies; and protect against growing threats to human health.”

“The impacts of a climate emergency – extended fire seasons, water shortages, more severe flooding, and increased extreme heat days – are real and put our residents and infrastructure at risk,” stated Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-Burbank), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Preventative measures will protect lives and property and also save the state billions of dollars. California is investing less than half of what is needed to properly address the effects of more intense weather events and SB 867 provides the critical investment needed to help our state become more resilient to climate change.”

“This bond will make California more resilient to flooding and wildfire, support the state’s clean energy transition, and spur investment in parks and nature conservation,” said Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), who chairs the Senate Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy. “Critically, this bond will further mitigate and adapt to climate change for future generations.”

“California’s whipsawing weather – from wildfire-inducing drought to atmospheric river-driven flooding – provides ample evidence that climate change is a real threat to our state,” said Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), who chairs the Senate Governmental Organization Committee and co-chairs the Delta Caucus. “That’s why it’s critical we lock down stable funding to address these challenges and invest in real solutions – before it is too late. I appreciate Senator Allen and my colleagues for coming together on this important bond measure.”

“We cannot afford to invest incrementally in climate. We must go big or it’s game over. The Senate climate bond is big (and bipartisan) and I encourage the Assembly and the Governor to build on our work and go even bigger. Every dollar we spend now on climate resilience we earn back six-fold in taxpayer savings,” said Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies

On a bipartisan vote of 33 to 5, the State Senate approved SB 867 on May 31. The bill is now pending referral to a policy committee in the State Assembly.

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Ben Allen represents the 24th State Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood, South Bay, and Santa Monica Mountains communities of Los Angeles County.