Friday, August 8, 2008

A “Suspense”-ful Week

This week brought many wins and losses for Sierra Club California.

It was a week of difficult hearings on the Senate and Assembly appropriations committees, which basically decide whether there’s enough money to pass legislation. Some of our top-priority bills had landed on the “Suspense Calendar,” essentially put on hold until this week.

The following measures survived this crucial step, although they still face votes in the Assembly and Senate:

  • SB 1500, SB 1617 (Senator Kehoe): Improves the state’s ability to respond to fires.

  • AB 2175 (Laird and Feuer): Sets a water conservation goal of 20% for the state.

  • AB 1879 (Leno): Gives state environmental officials more say over toxic chemicals in textiles, toys and consumer products.

These Sierra Club California-supported bills failed to leap off the suspense calendar:

  • AB 2989 (Fuentes): Sets up a program to get more kids outdoors. Sierra Club California is working with Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes’ office to try to rescue this beleaguered bill.

  • SB 1672 (Steinberg): Funds initiatives to help train workers to take clean-energy and “green” jobs. Sierra Club California will continue to work to get this measure on the 2010 ballot.

All of these bills represent important policy priorities for Sierra Club California and the entire environmental community. We will continue to fight to pass these measures in order to protect our air, water, wilderness and environmental health.

-Bill Magavern, Director

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