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Bond measures prepared for November ballot placement
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California Senate President pro tem Mike McGuire (D-North Coast), along with Senators Ben Allen, Lena Gonzalez, Monique Limón, Steven Glazer, Josh Newman, and Scott Wiener, this past week announced that the Legislature has agreed on language regarding two critical bond measures that will go before voters in November.

The legislative bond measures focus on improving the lives of millions of kids and modernizing public schools, and investing in clean water, wildfire prevention and recovery, thereby making communities safer from floods and better equipping the Golden State for the impacts of climate change. The clean water and wildfire bond would be the single largest investment in public funding for climate resilience in California’s history.

“These bond measures are critical to the future of this state, and invest in our kids, their neighborhood schools, and they ensure communities big and small have access to clean drinking water and are wildfire safe. I ran for school board at 19 years old after experiencing my high school fall into disrepair – our students, teachers, and staff deserve better, especially those in underserved schools where resources are limited and facilities are outdated and at times dangerous,” Pro Tem McGuire said. “The communities I call home have been devastated by wildfires – and we know the threat of fires is only worsening with our changing climate. Ensuring that our communities have the resources to protect themselves from wildfires, drought and floods is critical to the long-term success of the Golden State. We’re grateful to the legislative leaders who worked so incredibly hard bringing these life-changing measures forward.”

SB 867 would provide $10 billion to help communities avoid and recover from the impacts of wildfire, flood, drought, and other climate-related events. The strategic investments include funding for safe drinking water and drought, flood, and water resilience, as well as investments in wildfire and forest resilience, sea-level rise, extreme heat mitigation, clean air, and protecting biodiversity and promoting natural solutions.

“We are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change – more extreme heat waves, catastrophic fires and floods, coastal erosion, and severe droughts. Every part of our state is affected, and unless we take action now, the cost to address these impacts will become increasingly overwhelming,” said Senate Environmental Quality Committee Chair Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). “SB 867 will give voters the opportunity to support needed investments to protect our communities, improve our long-term resiliency, and safeguard our natural resources.”

“The Clean Water and Wildfire bond is a historic investment in our future,” added Senate Majority Leader Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “It prioritizes and enables robust, decisive action to advance our climate goals and enhance community resilience against climate impacts. I am honored to serve as co-author of this climate initiative that will deliver for our communities and protect our progress despite a tough budget year.”

AB 247 would provide $10 billion in bond funding for education facilities modernization, repair and safety, and would be split between K-12 schools ($8.5 billion) and California Community Colleges ($1.5 billion). The funding would be designated for improvements that include new construction, modernization of schools, career technical education, heating and energy efficiency grants, and other needs.

“As chair of the Senate Education Committee, I’m proud to serve as a joint author of AB 247, which addresses the urgent needs of California’s schools and educational facilities,” said Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). “Districts will be able to ensure schools have essential facilities like kitchens and libraries, equip students with the skills for high-demand technical careers, and provide greater access to broadband internet. This bond ensures that our schools are safe, modern, and well-prepared for the 21st-century needs of our students and educators. AB 247 is a vital and transformative investment in California’s education system.”

“Tough financial times test our commitment to our values, and there can be nothing more important than empowering the next generation of California students,” noted Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “By making these overdue investments in our K-12 schools, we are securing California’s competitiveness for years to come.”