Sacramento, California - Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) is pleased to report AB 197 Climate Equity and Transparency Act passed the Senate on a Floor vote of 23-14. AB 197 brings about greater equity, transparency, and public accountability on future climate change policies. In order for California to remain an economic and environmental leader the state will need to also be a leader on issues related to equity. Without aggressively addressing the health and economic impacts of climate policy on vulnerable populations, the State’s prosperity will be greatly hindered.

“AB 197 and SB 32 usher in a new era for climate policy in the state,” said Assemblymember Garcia. “California has proven that economic growth and strong environmental laws are not mutually exclusive, the state’s economy has flourished as our air and water quality has improved. However, these economic and environmental benefits have not yet reached all of the state’s communities, especially those disadvantaged communities that are most harmed by the impacts of climate change. AB 197 brings us closer to this goal.” Garcia concluded.

The bill also creates a Standing Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change made up of at least three members of both the Assembly and the Senate to oversee climate change activities at Air Resources Board (ARB) and other relevant agencies. AB 197 adds two ex-officio non-voting members from the legislature on the state ARB to create greater public oversight and places a six-year term on ARB members.

AB 197 now returns to the Assembly.