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Lawmakers make plans to spend $2.5 billion in new energy funds

December 3, 2012 |  1:49 pm

Tom SteyerWith the passage of Proposition 39 this fall, California voters set aside $2.5 billion over the next five years for energy efficiency projects. Now, it’s up to the Legislature to spend the money.

On Tuesday, Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) and Tom Steyer, who bankrolled the Yes on 39 campaign, will join with political and education leaders asking that a large portion of the new money be spent on schools.

DeLeon will introduce legislation calling for energy retrofits of thousands of public schools, and using money raised from Proposition 39 to pay for the projects. In a brief interview Monday, DeLeon said his bill would provide a boost to the economy by creating thousands of new jobs, update outdated school buildings and reduce districts’ future energy costs.

He said spending the money on schools would show voters that the new money will be spent responsibly.

Proposition 39 will raise an estimated $1 billion per year by changing the way corporate taxes are collected. As part of a budget deal in 2009, corporations were given a choice between two different tax formulas. Proposition 39 eliminated that choice, and created one mandatory formula for corporate taxes.

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Photo: Tom Steyer, co-founder of Advance Energy Economy, makes his way to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention back in September. Steyer helped bankroll the Yes on 39 campaign. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

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