RECAP: Gas Price Relief + Illegal Cannabis Enforcement + Internet for All + Housing + School Buses = Big Week Delivering for Californians

SACRAMENTO – From delivering relief on rising costs, including high gas prices, to cleaning up California’s school buses to breaking ground on a statewide 10,000-mile broadband network, the Newsom Administration was hard at work this week taking action for Californians across a variety of issues.

Driving Down Gas Prices, Delivering Relief and Holding Greedy Oil Companies Accountable

As Middle Class Tax Refunds continue hitting bank accounts across the state, delivering important relief for Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom’s actions to drive down high gas prices are paying off at the pump. Compared to a week ago, gas prices are down in California an average of $0.24, thanks in part to the Governor’s action to switch to winter-blend gasoline early.

At the same time, the Governor is working to hold greedy oil companies accountable for raking in record profits while fleecing Californians at the pump. He announced last Friday that he’s calling a special legislative session on December 5 to put windfall profits of oil companies back in taxpayers’ pockets.

Meanwhile, Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan advocacy group for American consumers, published a report last week showing the need for taking on windfall profits.

Consumer Watchdog reports: “All five refiners raked in unprecedented profits per gallon in the West – profits of between 79 cents and $1.01 per gallon. … In the second quarter, Consumer Watchdog reports these five refiners made from three to ten times more in profits per gallon off their West Coast operations from April through June than they did in the same period last year.”

Eradicating $15 Million Worth of Illegal Cannabis

Governor Newsom’s newly formed Unified Cannabis Enforcement Task Force (UCETF), is taking aggressive action to crack down on illegal cannabis operations – protecting communities and consumers throughout California and the U.S. from unregulated and potentially harmful cannabis products. The task force conducted an operation in a rural area of Jupiter in Tuolumne County on October 4, targeting unlicensed outdoor cultivation operations. Nine search warrants were served during this multi-agency operation. Officers eradicated 11,260 illegal cannabis plants and destroyed 5,237 lbs. of illegally processed cannabis flower, worth an estimated retail value of more than $15 million, according to the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC).

Getting High-Speed Internet to All Californians

Construction began yesterday in rural San Diego County on the first leg of a 10,000-mile broadband network aimed at bringing high-speed internet services to all Californians, no matter where they live. The planned network, which will be the nation’s largest, will cover the entire state to help bring reliable, high-speed internet access to the millions of Californians who do not have it now.

$$$ for Fixing California’s Supply Chain

With the pandemic-induced backlog of cargo ships at the state’s ports rapidly fading, the focus is turning to long-term supply chain improvements. The California State Transportation Agency issued final guidelines and a call for projects this week for the unprecedented $1.2 billion in one-time state funding for port and freight infrastructure projects to build a more efficient, sustainable and resilient goods movement system.

More Electric School Buses Than Any Other State

California has more than double the number of clean school buses in the rest of the U.S. according to a new report published by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) this week. There are 1,800 zero-emission buses operating or on order in California compared to 888 in other states.

To date, the state has invested more than $1.2 billion to clean up old, diesel-burning school buses with an additional $1.8 billion going out over the next five years for zero-emission school buses and associated charging infrastructure.

The funding is part of the California Climate Commitment, a record $54 billion investment in climate action, which includes $10 billion for accelerating California’s transition to zero-emission vehicles with significant consumer rebates and funding for charging infrastructure.

Expanding Housing for Older Californians and Those With Disabilities

Governor Newsom, with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), announced this week that 12 organizations were awarded a total of $53 million in grants to create more residential care options for older adults and adults with disabilities, including people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. A total of 402 beds or units will be created with these funds.

Welcoming the First Class of #CaliforniansForAll College Corps Fellows

Last Friday, Governor Newsom, alongside California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday and higher education leaders, swore in the first class of #CaliforniansForAll College Corps Fellows, more than 3,200 students pledging to serve communities across the state while earning money to pay for college.

This first-of-its-kind initiative provides undergraduate students at 46 colleges and universities across California the opportunity to earn $10,000 for committing to one year of service focused on three key issue areas for the state: K-12 education, climate action and food insecurity.