Leyva Bill Helps Small Businesses, Communities Apply for Green Funds

SB 398 Creates Green Assistance Program (GAP)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SACRAMENTO – In response to growing needs by local small communities and businesses to access greenhouse gas reduction funds, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) today introduced a bill that will provide technical assistance to small communities and businesses to access funding for energy efficiency upgrades or projects that lessen the negative health impacts of poor air quality.  

California is home to some of the worst air quality in the nation, particularly communities in the Inland Empire that serve as a primary route for transporting goods from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to other parts of the nation.  Many of California’s most polluted areas are small disadvantaged communities—regions with higher rates of poverty and higher incidences of asthma and cancer.  These smaller communities, as well as small businesses, oftentimes do not have the technical expertise or marketing capabilities to develop and pursue grant and financing options, leaving them at a clear disadvantage in applying for green assistance funds.

“SB 398 helps to connect small communities and businesses with programs at various state agencies that provide critical funding for energy efficiency upgrades,” Senator Leyva said.  “This will certainly help lower the cost of doing business and lessen the burden on taxpayers as these small communities and businesses access state funds.  SB 398 helps to level the playing field so that these small entities have a fair shot and equal opportunity to meet air quality and energy efficiency goals.  The Green Assistance Program (GAP) addresses a very real gap between the resources currently available for small communities and businesses and their ability to access them.”

If approved by the Legislature and the Governor, the Green Assistance Program is slated to be managed by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

SB 398 will be heard in Senate policy committee(s) this spring.