Sacramento finally has a good problem: How to spend $2.5 billion in new revenue earmarked for energy-efficiency projects by Proposition 39, which passed with 60 percent of the vote in November.
Gov. Jerry Brown made a pitch in his January budget proposal, and a few other lawmakers have introduced bills with their ideas. No one, though, has a better proposal than Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and businessman and environmentalist Tom Steyer. The two men co-chaired the campaign for Proposition 39, which fixed a loophole that gave out-of-state businesses a tax break. The proposition is expected to generate about $1 billion in tax revenue a year, half of which will go to energy projects for the next five years.