As you may know, our proposal for a $10 million e-bike incentive program has two tracks: AB 117, the bill that creates the program; and the budget request that funds it. Since our last Zoom policy briefing, we’ve focused entirely on the budget request. Our lobbyist Steve Wallauch and I have met directly with leadership in the Senate and Assembly budget committees, and coordinated similar meetings with key allies. The feedback we’re getting is uniformly positive and we are optimistic!
Here’s why. The budget to be approved by the Legislature today has more funds for the Air Resources Board, including for clean vehicle incentives, than the Governor proposed. However, the details of how that funding will be spent are undecided. They will be hashed out in a series of “budget trailer bills” between now and September. Furthermore,we expect that available funding will increase over the summer when the state receives revenues from the cap-and-trade auction.
This means we have a couple of months to get our program written into one of these trailer bills. Committee leadership write trailer bills behind closed doors, with no opportunity for public pressure. However, thanks to our alliances and our Sacramento team, we have the connections we need to get this program written into the budget.
Even better, a budget trailer bill gives us the opportunity to restore the language that was removed from AB 117 in order to advance it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. We worked hard to craft that language to balance competing objectives and satisfy diverse stakeholders—environmental justice groups, community organizations, individual consumers, bicycle retailers, and bicycle manufacturers. I will keep you informed as we work to get that language inserted into a budget trailer bill.
After we win the budget, either now or by September, the next steps will be to work with the implementing agency to develop the guidelines that will determine the details of the program.
Thanks again for your ongoing support and interest.
P.S. We have done a good job of identifying influencers, but it never hurts to ask: if you have a close connection to one of these six people, let me know: Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and budget leaders Nancy Skinner and Bob Wieckowski; and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and budget leaders Phil Ting and Richard Bloom.
P.P.S. You’re receiving this message from me because you’ve signed one of our petitions or expressed support for the bill. This is not a mass mailing. If you want more regular updates, join our list using the form on our homepage at calbike.org.