The Latest: Absence, vacancy complicate cap and trade path

Associated Press |

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California's efforts to extend its cap and trade climate change-fighting program (all times local):

An absence and a vacancy among California Assembly Democrats are complicating the math for renewing the state's cap-and-trade program.

The Assembly needs 54 votes to pass legislation reauthorizing the climate change-fighting initiative through 2030. But Democrats will only have 53 members present for Monday's vote. That makes Republican support essential for passage.

Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, of Thousand Oaks, is out all week for a long-standing family commitment that she told leadership about months ago. And last week, Assembly Democrats lost a member when U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez was sworn in.



The Senate needs 27 votes to pass the bill. Democrats hold that exact number and a spokesman says no absences are expected.

California lawmakers are nearing a vote on a climate change initiative.

The decision Monday could give another decade of life to California's expiring cap-and-trade program. It has global implications as the largest U.S. state looks to be a model for reducing carbon emissions at a time when President Donald Trump is pulling back from fighting global warming.

Gov. Jerry Brown has pitched the legislation with nearly apocalyptic rhetoric, calling it essential for the survival of civilization. But his plan has infuriated some environmental groups who say progressive California should be far more aggressive in combatting harmful pollution.

The legislation is one of Brown's highest priorities as he nears the end of his fourth term, but he's struggled to line up support from the two-thirds of lawmakers needed to pass.

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