April 25, 2012
Senate Bill 1165 Passes Senate Energy Committee
Last night was a late night, as the Legislature re-scheduled Senate Energy and Utilities Committee (EU&C) to follow Senate Transportation Committee, and EU&C did not get started until almost 5:00 p.m.
The good news is that our School Energy Coalition-sponsored bill SB 1165 (Wright) was successfully passed out of the Committee by a vote of 10-1 despite opposition from utilities, water and telecommunications groups! I am especially pleased to report that the vote was bi-partisan, with one vote coming from Senator Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks). It now will move to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration of its fiscal impact to the state.
SB 1165 (Wright) is the SEC bill that would allow K-14 schools to participate in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Intervenor Compensation Program. It would allow schools to be reimbursed for their participation in rate cases and other proceedings that significantly impact them, such as raising the cost of producing solar energy. Water and telecommunication groups were opposed over concerns about schools being involved in siting or other proceedings that could slow down the processes.
I am very grateful for the help and presence of Sophie Akins, an SEC associate member from Best, Best and Krieger, who added detail to the discussion from her experience in San Diego. Despite the late hour, our group held together to form an impressive group of school representatives: Many thanks to the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.), the California School Boards Association (CSBA), San Diego Unified School District, the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), and to others who wrote letters such as the Community College Facilities Coalition (CCFC), the County School Facilities Consortium (CSFC) and the Small School Districts Association (SSDA). **Be aware that because of the opposition, there has been a discussion of “limiting language” that would keep school reimbursement to electricity rate cases. However, I am requesting that program funding issues such as public goods charge and cap and trade discussions be considered in that language.
SB 1165 (Wright) items for review:
Click here to view the bill language for SB 1165 (Wright)
Click here to view our SEC talking points on SB 1165 (Wright)
Click here to view the Senate Committee Analysis of SB 1165 (Wright)
Most importantly: Please share SEC’s progress with colleagues that might join our group as we continue to work on issues of importance to schools and energy projects. REMINDER: Senator Fran Pavley's School Energy/Budget Savings Workshop being held on April 27th at 10:00 a.m. at Canoga Park High School. Click here to view details about Senator Pavley's School Energy/Budget Savings Workshop.
We are working with Senator Pavley's staff on this event. Please let us know via e-mail at email@example.com if you are able to join us for this workshop.
School Energy Coalition