About the delegation
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, who leads the upper house of the California Legislature, has made climate change and equitable access to clean energy for disadvantaged communities a central plank of his legislative platform.
This year, Senator De León (D-Los Angeles) championed Senate Bill 350, landmark legislation signed into that will set the largest U.S. to draw half of its electricity from renewable sources and double energy efficiency in all existing buildings by 2030.
Senator De León’s past clean-energy measures include SB 535 (2012), which requires at least 25 percent of California’s cap-and-trade revenue to benefit low-income communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. This law is resulting in new transit, energy efficiency, renewable energy and affordable housing projects across the state.
Last year, Senator De León passed SB 1275 to create a rebate initiative to make electric cars more accessible to working families with the goal of placing one million low-emission vehicles on the roads by 2025.
In 2012, he co-chaired the successful Proposition 39 campaign, closing a corporate-tax loophole and creating a $2.5 billion revenue fund for energy-efficiency upgrades in schools.
Senator Ricardo Lara
Senator Ricardo Lara has emerged as one of the most effective environmental justice champions in California by consistently passing policies that improve health conditions and reign in air pollution, primarily around low-income, communities of color.
Having grown up along the 710 freeway, Ricardo understands first-hand the dire health impact that poor air quality can have on working families. This background has informed his legislative agenda which focuses in large part on defending the environment and promoting access to health care.
Ricardo has authored and co-authored several ground-breaking environmental justice measures including SB 1125 and SB 1204 which extend limits on greenhouse emissions and create clean energy freight transportation programs, respectively. Additionally, he was one of three co-authors of SB 270, the bill banning single-use plastic bags to better protect the environment against pollution.
Leading the charge against heavy polluters such as the Vernon battery recycling plant Exide, Ricardo passed SB 712 demanding that the facility get a permit by the end of 2015, or shut down. As a follow up measure, Senator Lara introduced SB 673 this year to create a Community Oversight Committee within the Department of Toxic Substances Control ensuring impacted communities have a seat at the table. That same year, authored legislation to create a state plan to address short-lived climate pollutants (SB 605) such as diesel soot, which are known to cause climate warming and negatively impact public health.
This year, Ricardo championed the historic Health for All Kids proposal secured $40 million in funding to begin covering all California children, regardless of immigration status. As part of his historic Health for All proposal, this money will ensure that no child is kept from seeing a doctor by automatically enrolling over 170,000 uninsured kids into full-scope Medi-Cal beginning May 2016.
Representing a district that includes the Port of Long Beach – the second biggest container port in the United States – Ricardo chairs the Select Committee on Ports and Goods Movement where he advocates and prioritizes smart policies that address the region’s goods movement and innovation in green technology.
Senator Fran Pavley
Sen. Fran Pavley, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, has been at the forefront in reducing climate pollution in a way that promotes economic opportunity since first becoming a member of the Legislature in 2001.
As a member of the Assembly, she was the author of Assembly Bill 1493, the California Clean Car Act that become the national model for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, and a co-author of AB 32, the nation’s first comprehensive cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Pavley has led legislative oversight to monitor implementation of those laws, and chairs the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation.
Follow-up legislation introduced last year, Senate Bill 32, seeks to establish in law climate-pollution reduction targets into the future so as to provide regulatory certainty for California businesses and to inspire continued innovation in the energy and transportation sectors.
Sen. Pavley has received national and international recognition for her leadership in climate policy. President Obama cited her leadership when he enacted new U.S. fuel-economy standards, and she has spoken on panels at previous UN climate conferences in Montreal and Copenhagen.
Senator Bob Wieckowski
California State Senator Bob Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes parts of southern Alameda County and Santa Clara County in Silicon Valley.
Senator Wieckowski chairs the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over California’s climate change policies, and key programs and policies within the California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board, State Water Resources Control Board and other agencies. This year, the EQ Committee heard well over 115 bills and conducted 12 oversight and informational hearings on important environmental issues across the state.
Senator Wieckowski is the author of Senate Bill 246, a bill to improve California’s climate adaptation planning, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October. SB 246 creates the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program to help California’s communities build resiliency to climate change impacts, including more frequent and intense heat waves, wildfires, floods, and droughts, which threaten the state’s air and water quality, public health, infrastructure and economy. It prioritizes the effective and efficient use of resources for creating a comprehensive, coordinated approach to adaptation planning across state, regional and local levels. The legislation was strongly supported by California environmental organizations.
Prior to his election to the State Senate, Wieckowski served as the chair of the State Assembly’s Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.
Senator Wieckowski is a strong advocate of California’s growing clean energy economy and a leading voice for advancing innovative policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.