Press Release: New Legislation Introduced to Prioritized Equity in California’s Climate Policies

February 16, 20233 Minutes

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (February 16, 2023) — Today, Assemblymember Timothy Grayson (D-Concord) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1198, Equity in Energy, a bill which aims to make California’s transition to a low-carbon economy more equitable for small and minority-owned businesses in the state. The California Asian Pacific, African American, and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce will co-sponsor this legislation.

“With California’s ambitious goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, there needs to be inclusive participation of all communities and businesses. Unfortunately, there is evidence of a huge gap in minority small business enterprise participation in the market transition to a low carbon future,” said Assemblymember Grayson. “That is why I’m excited to partner with the California Asian Pacific, African American, and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and introduce AB 1198 to ensure that disadvantaged businesses have a seat at the table and have equitable access to the opportunities and resources necessary to create high wage jobs and essential community wealth building opportunities.”

If enacted, this taskforce will ensure small and minority-owned businesses are not left behind in the state’s transition to a carbon neutral economy. The taskforce will submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the State Legislature, which should inspire more in-depth policy discussions addressing barriers that prevent diverse communities from participating in this critical transition.

“California has the most aggressive climate change policies in the nation. While we’re moving quickly toward carbon neutrality, these policies pose significant barriers for small and minority-owned businesses,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President & CEO of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. “Equity in Energy is a critical opportunity for our state’s legislators to commit to a clean energy future that is equitable and inclusive of all communities.”

The announcement of this bill comes only months after the success of Assembly Bill 2019 – Equity in State Procurement, which was also led by the three Chambers and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2022. Equity in State Procurement was co-authored by Assemblymembers Cottie Petrie-Norris and Chris Holden.

Assembly Bill 1198 is quickly garnering support from advocates and leaders across the state. To stay up to date, subscribe to our policy newsletter here.

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