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California leads the battle against climate change

California continues to lead the way in the battle against climate change with expanded climate legislation backed by Governor Jerry Brown. Legislative negotiations on a plan to extend California’s climate initiative has been expanded beyond air quality and climate change to include the state’s shortage of affordable housing.

A bill to extend the initiative for another decade is scheduled to go before state legislative committees today. A possible vote in the California Assembly and Senate, which had been scheduled for Thursday night, has been pushed back to Monday, AP reported.

Progressive Democrats in the California Assembly said they would not approve an extension to the state’s landmark cap and trade program to fight climate change, without also addressing housing problems, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Housing is the biggest problem facing the state of California,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), the Times reported. “While climate change, of course, is an existential threat, we can do both. We need to do both”.

High-profile housing bills introduced this year include a new $75 fee on real estate transactions to raise roughly $250 million a year in low-income housing subsidies and a $3 billion low-income housing bond to be put before voters in 2018, the Times said.

Funding bills require two-thirds votes to pass. While Democrats hold supermajorities in both houses of the legislature, some Democrats are losing interest in the housing bills after raising fuel taxes in April, the Times said.

By: David Beasley, Staff Writer

Source: AP, Los Angeles Times

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