.The Heat Is On

State needs climate bond measure on November’s ballot

In a stirring display of unity, a formidable coalition of 170 groups converged on Sacramento last May to urge lawmakers to place a climate bond measure on California’s November ballot.

This bond measure, if approved, would permit the state to borrow $10 billion for initiatives designed to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Consider this: California has endured 46 extreme weather events since 1980, each causing at least $1 billion in damages. The proposed bond is seen as a vital step toward addressing these increasingly frequent and costly disasters.

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Opponents of the measure point to concerns about adding to the state’s debt, particularly during a period marked by budget deficits. However, supporters argue that the bond measure is essential for securing dedicated funding for climate initiatives, especially during lean budget years. They emphasize that without this bond, critical climate projects could be sidelined due to financial constraints.

The state legislature is currently considering two bills that would place the bond measure on the ballot. Should it pass, the bond would represent the largest voter-approved climate investment in U.S. history, with at least 40% of the funds directed toward the most vulnerable communities. This commitment ensures that those who are most affected by climate change receive the support they need to adapt and thrive.

The bond would finance a wide range of projects, including improving access to safe drinking water, promoting renewable energy and electric vehicles, restoring wetlands, aiding farmers in water conservation, enhancing flood protection, boosting wildfire and coastal resilience, and improving air quality.

These initiatives are not just about protecting the environment; they are about safeguarding the health, safety and economic well-being of Californians.

With a deadline of June 27 for the Legislature to pass a bill to qualify the bond measure for the ballot, time is of the essence.

This climate bond represents a critical opportunity for California to take decisive action against climate change, ensuring a safer, more sustainable future for all its residents.

Lawmakers must heed the call of the coalition and the broader public, placing this crucial measure on the ballot and allowing voters to decide the state’s climate future. Give us the choice.

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