SACRAMENTO — Tom Steyer, the Bay Area investor who bankrolled last year's successful campaign to raise more money from corporate taxes, criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to spend the cash in a letter Friday.
The letter was also signed by state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who have been working on alternative proposals.
The governor's current plan to use the money "does not live up to the promise of Proposition 39 to focus investment in energy savings and job creation," they wrote.
The letter is the latest step in a running debate over how to distribute roughly $450 million in tax revenue generated by Proposition 39. Brown wants to send most of the money to schools and community colleges across the state based on how many students are in each building.
But Steyer, De León and Skinner say that will spread the cash too thinly to make meaningful improvements in energy efficiency or create significant numbers of new jobs. They also fear Brown's plan won't hold schools and community colleges accountable for how they use the money.
Skinner and De León have worked on legislation that would distribute much of the funding through a competitive grant process. The differences between their two bills are scheduled to be worked out in joint committee hearings on the budget, which are scheduled to begin Friday.