The Sacramento Bee: A clean air ballot initiative

As the state Democratic Party convention looms near, insurance commissioner candidate Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has notched a high-profile endorsement: That of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood.

“I’m proud to endorse my colleague Marc Levine for Insurance Commissioner,” Rendon said in a statement. “I’ve worked closely with Marc in the state legislature for a decade and I’ve seen him fearlessly take on special interests like Big Oil, the NRA, and the insurance industry. He is an effective leader that delivers real results for Californians on critical issues like insurance reform, healthcare, gun safety, and environmental protection. At this time of crisis in the insurance market, we need Marc Levine in the Insurance Commissioner’s office because we can count on him to stand up to the insurance industry and deliver the reforms consumers deserve.”

In a statement, Levine said he was honored to have Speaker Rendon’s support.

“Speaker Rendon has led the Assembly in making major progress for Californians on the most pressing issues facing our state. I look forward to working closely with him to hold insurance companies accountable, protect consumers, and make home, health, and auto insurance more accessible and affordable for all Californians,” Levine said.

The Capitol Bureau’s own Lara Korte did some digging, though, and determined that Rendon also endorsed the incumbent, Ricardo Lara, albeit with much less fanfare.

The dual endorsements come just weeks before the convention, set for March 4-6 in Los Angeles. At that convention, delegates will offer up their own endorsements for the assorted major races, including that of insurance commissioner.

CLEAN AIR CALIFORNIA LAUNCHES BALLOT MEASURE BID

A coalition of environmental, labor and business groups have banded together to form Clean Air California, which is championing a November 2022 ballot initiative that would increase the state income tax rate by 1.75% for people making more than $2 million a year in order to fund increased wildfire prevention and suppression, expand electric vehicle infrastructure and make electric and zero-emission vehicles more affordable to low- and middle-income consumers.

“The Clean Cars, Clean Air Act cuts right to the heart of the climate crisis in our state,” said Veda Banerjee, communications director for California Environmental Voters, in a statement. “And so far, the biggest threats of this crisis have been shouldered by the most underserved populations. We heartily support this historic approach — one that embraces science and builds equity — and look forward to our partnership within this coalition.”

Another group belonging to the coalition is Cal Fire Firefighters, whose president, Tim Edwards, said in a statement, “Wildfires in California are changing the way we live for the worse. The wildfires we are witnessing now have become a hazard to public health, are ruining our air and endangering our watershed, and destroying homes and businesses. Cal Fire Firefighters support this initiative because it provides an immediate, reliable and significant investment to prevent wildfires in our state so Californians will have clean air to breathe.”

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