Over 70 IBEW members from all over California descended on the Capitol on August 18 for an intense day of face-to-face meetings and a little arm-twisting to support the bills and legislators that will help further the job creation and clean energy goals of the State. Local 1245 had the largest contingent as staff Organizers Jammi Juarez and Fred Ross, Business Rep Hunter Stern and Organizing Stewards Kevin Krummes, Ivan Pereda and Gerald Williams lead the charge to urge state legislators to vote YES on SB 350 (de Leon). The bill will lead California into the next phase of clean energy and clean fuel production and create up to 400,000 new jobs in the next 15 years. Local 1245 was pleased to have International Representative Charlie Randall of the IBEW 9th District Office join our delegation.
The IBEW contingent broke into four groups and immediately got to work, speaking with 25 Assembly Members and Senators to urge them to support SB 350. Some were easy sells, such as Assemblymember Mark Stone of Santa Cruz, who is eager see the benefits of SB 350, according to Kevin Krummes and Ivan Pereda, who met with Stone. Others, such as Assemblymember Jim Frazier of Oakley, are supportive of extending the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% of the electricity to be generated from renewable sources, but remain very skeptical of the other elements of the bill — as well as the manner in which these provisions may be implemented by the California Air Resources Board — and will not support the bill as-is, according to Hunter Stern.
The legislative session ends in mid-September, and as of August 18, SB 350 was waiting for a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Assuming it is passed out of that Committee, it would need to be approved by the full Assembly before it would be reconsidered by the full Senate and then sent to Governor Brown for signature.