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SB-263 Climate Assistance Centers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/21/2017 09:00 PM
SB263:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 263


Introduced by Senator Leyva

February 08, 2017


An act to add Part 5 (commencing with Section 75250) to Division 44 of the Public Resources Code, relating to greenhouse gases.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 263, as amended, Leyva. Climate Assistance Centers.
Existing law creates the Transformative Climate Communities Program, which is administered by the Strategic Growth Council. Existing law requires the council to award competitive grants to specified eligible entities for the development and implementation of neighborhood-level transformative climate community plans that include greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects that provide local economic, environmental, and health benefits to disadvantaged communities, as defined. Existing law requires the California Environmental Protection Agency to provide assistance in performing outreach to disadvantaged communities and assessing the environmental justice benefits of project awards.

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency charged with monitoring and regulating sources of emissions of greenhouse gases. The act authorizes the state board to include the use of market-based compliance mechanisms. Existing law requires all moneys, except for fines and penalties, collected by the state board as part of a market-based compliance mechanism to be deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and to be available upon appropriation.

This bill would require the council to establish no less than 10 regional climate assistance centers, equitably distributed across urban and rural areas of the state, to build the capacity of local community organizations, municipalities, and small businesses from disadvantaged communities to participate in state climate investment programs, as specified. The bill would require the council to allocate available moneys to community-based and nonprofit organizations to engage with climate assistance centers and conduct outreach in disadvantaged communities, as specified. The bill would authorize moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be available, upon appropriation, for allocation by the council for the purposes of the climate assistance centers. The bill would require the council to establish a state interagency working group, coordinated by the council and including specified state agency staff, to develop integrated outreach information on state climate investment programs and to coordinate outreach activities with the climate assistance centers. to provide to target user groups technical assistance in applying for moneys, provide to target user groups assistance and training in project management and implementation, and work with local organizations to formulate policy ideas that accomplish specified goals. The bill would authorize the council and climate assistance centers to solicit and accept nonstate money. The bill would require the council, among other things, to convene an annual statewide summit for climate assistance center staff and grant recipients, as specified. The bill would require the council and the state board State Air Resources Board to make a specified report to the Legislature.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The state has designated significant moneys from climate investment programs to enable disadvantaged communities to help meet the state’s greenhouse gas mitigation and climate adaptation goals while advancing social equity.
(b) Small businesses, community-based nonprofits, local governments, and other eligible entities in disadvantaged communities often lack the resources, capacity, and technical expertise to develop grant and financing options.
(c) For the state to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals while advancing social equity, every entity and community must have the same opportunity to compete for the funding that is available to meet those goals and should have access to technical assistance to develop funding proposals that will maximize carbon mitigation and climate adaptation benefits for each dollar requested.
(d) Some regions and jurisdictions have existing programs and organizations in place to build local leadership, capacity, and technical expertise for climate mitigation and adaptation, and any additional investments should support and leverage existing efforts to be effective and efficient.

SEC. 2.

 Part 5 (commencing with Section 75250) is added to Division 44 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

PART 5. Climate Assistance Centers

75250.
 For purposes of this part, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Center” means a climate assistance center established pursuant to this part.
(b) “Council” means the Strategic Growth Council.
(c) “Disadvantaged community” means a community identified pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code or Section 75005.

75252.

(a)The council shall establish no less than 10 regional centers, equitably distributed across urban and rural areas of the state, to build the capacity of local community organizations, municipalities, and small businesses from disadvantaged communities to participate in state climate investment programs. When selecting regions for a center, the council shall do all of the following:

(1)Develop and adopt regional site solicitation and evaluation guidelines. The guidelines shall include monitoring and reporting requirements. The guidelines may include a limitation on the dollar amount of the grant to be awarded for a center.

(2)Conduct six public meetings to consider public comments before selecting regional sites.

(3)Publish the draft solicitation and evaluation guidelines on the council’s Internet Web site at least 30 days before the public meetings.

(4)Conduct two meetings in separate locations in northern California, two meetings in separate locations in the central valley, and two meetings at separate locations in southern California.

(b)A center shall be established locally through multistakeholder partnerships to provide and support technical assistance and capacity-building for local community organizations, municipalities, and small businesses from disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to all of the following:

(1)Working with community-based organizations to establish a regional leadership development network to identify, train, and support climate leaders from these communities. To avoid duplication of effort, the center shall provide support to existing programs that already meet the criteria of this paragraph.

(2)Initiating and coordinating regional partnerships and collaboration to support coalition building, community engagement, private sector engagement, and policy opportunities around equitable investments, multibenefit solutions, workforce development, and antidisplacement strategies.

(3)Providing funding to community-based and nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and planning resources to assist eligible applicants from these communities in project and proposal development, including assistance in using applied research and geospatial data, sustainable best practices, community engagement, and local hiring and job training strategies.

(4)Engaging philanthropic and private sector partners to provide direct contributions and in-kind assistance to provide additional technical assistance to match state financial investments in disadvantaged communities through state climate investment programs.

75254.

(a)The council shall allocate available moneys to community-based and nonprofit organizations to engage with the centers and conduct outreach in disadvantaged communities. Whenever feasible, existing programs and partnerships shall be leveraged and funded to accomplish goals and activities of this part.

(b)Moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code, shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for allocation by the council pursuant to this part.

75256.

The council shall establish the position of Climate Outreach Coordinator covering each designated geographic region of state that has a center. The coordinator shall conduct outreach and provide direct technical assistance to target user groups for the centers in order to identify relevant state funding programs, develop eligible activities, and prepare applications.

75258.

(a)The council shall establish a state interagency working group, coordinated by the council and including Climate Outreach Coordinators and staff from the California Transportation Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Food and Agriculture, the Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Treasurer, to develop integrated outreach information on state climate investment programs and to coordinate outreach activities with the centers.

(b)The state interagency working group shall promote the effective integration of state climate investment programs for low-income customers and disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to, energy, water, resilience, housing, and low-emission transportation infrastructure programs, by accomplishing all of the following:

(1)Identifying opportunities to align program eligibility requirements and reduce redundancies and administrative overhead.

(2)Creating incentives and mechanisms to foster collaboration, standardization, streamlining, integration, and cofunding opportunities with related federal, state, and local agencies.

(3)Convening an annual summit for center staff and users statewide to learn from one another and innovate new strategies for integrating sustainability and equity locally.

75252.
 (a) The council shall establish no less than 10 regional centers as follows:
(1) One center in northern California no later than January 1, 2020.
(2) One center in southern California no later than January 1, 2020.
(3) One center in the San Joaquin Valley no later than January 1, 2020.
(4) The remaining centers shall be equitably distributed across urban and rural areas of the state no later than January 1, 2023.
(b) (1) The council shall develop a policy for siting the centers in subdivision (a) and hold at least one public meeting to solicit public input before adopting the policy.
(2) The draft policy shall be posted on the council’s Internet Web site at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
(3) The council shall respond to all public comments before adopting the policy.
(c) Before adopting the site of a center pursuant to subdivision (a), the council shall hold at least one public hearing in the region in which the center will be located to solicit and consider public input on the proposed site.
(d) Centers established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide technical assistance to target user groups in applying for moneys, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Programs funded by moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code.
(B) Programs funded by moneys pursuant to the Active Transportation Program (Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 2380) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code).
(C) Programs funded pursuant to the California Farmland Conservancy Program Act (Division 10.2 (commencing with Section 10200)).
(2) Provide assistance and training to target user groups in project management and implementation for the projects funded pursuant to paragraph (1).
(3) Work with local organizations, including, but not limited to, community-based organizations, small businesses, and local governments, to formulate policy ideas that accomplish any of the following:
(A) Increase community and private sector engagement in addressing climate change.
(B) Increase equitable investment in disadvantaged communities.
(C) Maximize the cobenefits of climate-related projects.
(D) Expand workforce development training.
(E) Identify strategies that prevent the displacement of persons and families of low or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, from their homes.
(4) Seek scientific and technical support from federal, state, and local sources of expertise in accomplishing the goals of the center, as needed.
(e) To support the goals of this part, the council and the centers may solicit and accept nonstate money, including, but not limited to, philanthropic donations.

75256.
 The council shall do all of the following:
(a) Conduct outreach and provide direct technical assistance to the centers and the public in order to identify relevant state funding programs, develop eligible activities, and prepare applications.
(b) Promote the effective integration of state climate investment programs for low-income customers and disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to, energy, water, resilience, housing, and low-emission transportation infrastructure programs.
(c) Identify potential matching funds from federal, state, and local agencies.
(d) Convene an annual statewide summit for center staff and grant recipients. The summit shall include a forum to present individual project details and programmatic changes desired by the centers and grant recipients. The first summit shall be held no later than December 31, 2021.

75260.
 (a) The council and the State Air Resources Board shall collaborate to develop performance measures for activities pursuant to this part. On or before ____, January 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, the council and the State Air Resources Board shall report to the Legislature on measures that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(a)

(1) Quantitative assessment of changes in annual participation from eligible entities in disadvantaged communities and the success rate of those applicants.

(b)Qualitative assessment of perceived accessibility within disadvantaged communities for relevant state programs.

(c)Financial leverage created for state climate investment programs from funding sources outside of state programs.

(2) Survey results from the regions for each center that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) The impacts and effectiveness of the centers.
(B) Changes to the centers and their services desired in each region.
(C) Any nonstate funding awarded to projects in each region that are also funded by the state.

(d)

(3) Quantitative assessment of any change in the efficacy of state climate investment program dollars in achieving state climate mitigation and adaptation goals in disadvantaged communities. communities due to the centers.
(b) A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.