RCRC supports Assembly Bill 1644, authored by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood). This measure amends provisions of the California Jobs Plan Act of 2021 (Act) to exempt forest health and resilience projects funded through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) from certain employment standards.
The Act currently requires the California Air Resources Board to update GGRF funding guidelines to require specific projects funded by the continuously appropriated portion of the GGRF to meet certain employment standards, including requiring prevailing wage and proof of a community workforce agreement for construction projects as specified under the Act. The Act leaves the interpretation of “construction” ambiguous and open to including public works projects such as tree removal for community forest health and wildfire prevention efforts. RCRC worked with the author’s staff to amend forest and fire prevention projects out of the bill, but changes to GGRF continuous appropriations in the 2021-22 State Budget Package nullified those efforts and left the possibility that those projects would be impacted by the Act.
AB 1644 represents a commitment by Assemblymember Burke to resolve RCRC’s concerns with the Act so that local government-led forest health and wildfire prevention projects funded through the GGRF won’t be slowed by the provisions of the Act. AB 1644 was introduced on January 12, 2022 and awaits referral by the Assembly Rules Committee. RCRC’s letter of support is available here. For more information, contact Staci Heaton, RCRC Senior Policy Advocate by email or call (916) 447-4806.