California Climate Hawks Propose Ballot Initiative For The 99 Percent

Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, led by hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer, has figured out a way to get corporate tax evaders to give back to the 99 percent, funding schools and green jobs. The coalition, which saved California’s climate law from a Big Oil ballot attack last year, has “filed a ballot initiative to raise $1.1 billion from out-of-state companies for schools and green building projects”:

For the first five years, the Steyer measure would raise an estimated $1.1 billion each year, with $550 million going toward retrofitting of public and commercial buildings for energy efficiency, as well as job training in clean energy technology. The remaining funds would go toward the state’s general fund, including more than $200 million for K-12 schools and community colleges.

After five years, the entire amount raised by the tax law change would go toward the state general fund budget.

“It closes an existing corporate tax loophole and uses the savings to create hundreds of thousands of construction jobs in California, all designed to jump start the economy,” Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant working on the initiative, told the Sacramento Bee.

A recent poll by the University of Southern California and Los Angeles Times shows that 64 percent of registered voters would support higher taxes for better schools.