Assemblyman Das Williams introduced a bill, AB 29, today which would assist colleges and universities with energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects.
The bill establishes three revolving loan funds for California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California, funded primarily with revenue created by Prop 39. The recently passed California Clean Energy Jobs Act, Prop 39, fixed a tax loophole that previously allowed out-of-state businesses to choose the method for determining their state taxable income.
Prop 39 dedicates $550 million annually for five years from the projected revenue increase for funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California. Universities and colleges are specifically designated to receive some of the revenue.
Williams’ bill would attempt to specify requirements for receiving revenue and ensure that public dollars are used efficiently.
“California leads the nation in developing and implementing successful energy efficiency efforts,” Williams said. “Our places of higher learning are in a unique position to lead by example. Prop 39 dollars will assist our colleges and universities in helping the State meet its ambitious energy goals.”
The goal of the legislation is to allow California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California to use the savings from the clean energy projects to assist with their budgets while achieving critical energy savings.
“I know that K-12 and higher education budgets suffered tremendously in recent years,” Williams said. “However, there are some school districts in California that have utilized clean energy to achieve future cost savings. As a result, they’ve saved critical school programs. It’s my hope that our colleges and universities can also achieve cost savings by effectively using Prop 39 dollars.”
Williams was sworn-in for a second term representing the new 37th Assembly District on Monday.
“This is an exciting time for our state and our colleges and universities,” Williams said. “We are on the cusp of making tremendous changes that boost our academic success and achieve our important environmental and educational goals.