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California Legislature

California will spend big on clean vehicles under plan approved by lawmakers

 (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

State lawmakers on Friday approved a $1.5-billion plan for spending cap-and-trade revenue, with most of the money going toward financial incentives to get dirty cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles off the road.

The plan, which was included in Assembly Bills 109 and 134, was negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders. Lawmakers extended the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases, earlier this year.

The centerpiece of the plan is $895 million for clean vehicles, which will be divided among programs aimed at electric cars, school buses, farm equipment and other priorities.

Lawmakers hope the money will help make a dent in California's emissions from transportation, which the state has struggled to reduce.

The legislation also included some union-friendly provisions. The cap-and-trade money could not be used to replace port vehicles with automated equipment. In addition, state regulators could eventually be asked to evaluate whether an automaker treats its workers in a "fair and responsible" manner before its vehicles are eligible for rebates.

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