March 25, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly
Governor Newsom unveiled his proposal to provide relief to Californians amid soaring gas prices. His $11 billion dollar proposal includes $2 billion to provide free public transit to Californians for 3 months and $9 billion in tax refunds for drivers. The refund will come in the form of $400 debit cards distributed to drivers with cars registered at DMV. A person is eligible to receive up to 2 debit cards for vehicles registered in their name with no restriction on type, price or income. Californians that own electric vehicles are also eligible for the rebate. Legislators recently unveiled a proposal of their own that would send money to every Californian, not just those with registered vehicles. The Governor publicly stated his openness to working with the Legislature and stakeholders to ensure the plan is equitable, stressing his desire is to provide relief to as many people as possible.
Hydrogen Hub Hearing
The Senate Select Committee on Hydrogen Energy convened an informational hearing today to hear from stakeholders on the concept of a California Hydrogen Hub. There is increasing attention being paid to hydrogen as a potential way to reduce emissions and help meet climate change targets. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) shared that the State is focused on hydrogen infrastructure and is encouraging collaboration among interested stakeholders. We expect GoBiz to ultimately submit a proposal to the United States Department of Energy seeking funding for a California statewide hydrogen hub.
Justice Guerrero Confirmed
The Commission on Judicial Appointments has confirmed the first Latina to the California Supreme Court, Justice Patricia Guerrero. Guerrero was appointed by Governor Newsom to replace outgoing Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar. Justice Guerrero has served on the Fourth District Court of Appeal since 2017 and in the San Diego County Superior Court prior to that. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Guerrero attended UC Berkeley and Stanford Law School.
Up in Flames
The California State Auditor released a report criticizing California regulators overseeing wildfire safety. The report states that the California Public Utilities Commission and the recently formed Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety haven’t gone far enough in demanding safety reforms from PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. In particular, the State Auditor criticized regulators for approving wildfire mitigation plans filed by the utilities even though the plans contained “Class A deficiencies” and failed to demonstrate that utilities were targeting the “highest-risk” portions of the electrical grid. The auditor’s report can be found here.