Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders may have reached a deal on spending $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade revenue, but some Democrats still have concerns.
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) wondered during a budget hearing on Wednesday how much of the appropriations "were designed to meet certain expectations" of different interest groups and lawmakers who supported extending the cap-and-trade program earlier this year. The program requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, and the revenue is supposed to be spent on initiatives that further reduce emissions.
"There are a lot of Christmas trees out there," Jackson said. "Everybody wants to pluck a bit of the ornaments, but my concern overall is the whole accountability issue. As you identify these projects, are there certain expectations that you think that they are going to accomplish, because I haven’t seen them."