Lawmakers reach deal on $10B California climate bond

By Alex Nieves | 07/01/2024 06:20 AM EDT

The release of climate bond language late Saturday night sets up floor votes ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

Democratic state Senators Mike McGuire, of Santa Rosa, left, and Ben Allen, of Santa Monica, right, confer at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.

(Right) State Sen. Ben Allen and staff for Senate Pro Tem Mike McGuire (left) have led climate bond negotiations. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California lawmakers released a $10 billion climate bond proposal late Saturday night, teeing up votes ahead of the Wednesday deadline to place borrowing measures on the ballot.

The deal, contained within state Sen. Ben Allen’s S.B. 867, concludes more than a year of legislative negotiations and jockeying between interest groups that kicked off in January 2023 after Gov. Gavin Newsom floated the idea of using a climate bond to offset billions of dollars in proposed budget cuts.

The $10 billion figure represents a best-case scenario for the hundreds of environmental, local government and social justice organizations backing the proposal, coming in higher than previous draft iterations as low as $6 billion.


The climate bond is poised to share the November ballot with a $10 billion school infrastructure measure — also finalized Saturday night — filling the state’s estimated capacity to take on bonds this fall, which Newsom in March estimated to be around $20 billion.