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Issue Position: Environment

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Michael Allen is bringing environmentalists and industry leaders together for a cleaner future. Michael worked with local environmentalists and businesses to create Solar Sonoma County, a group that promotes local access to renewable energy. He started hiscareer as an attorney with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Team on the Warm Springs Dam initiative. He also introduced incentive programs that will help our agricultural community transition to organic farming methods.

Michael's legislative work to protect our environment includes:

AB 1589: The California State Parks Stewardship Act of 2012. Contains several proposals that address short and long term needs for California State Parks in order to achieve substantial budget savings without wide scale park closures. Encourages formation of a state compact that guarantees an on-going level of state funding for operations and maintenance of state parks; creates a State Park Enterprise Fund to be used for construction and installation of modern revenue and fee collection equipment and technologies to increase park visitation and revenues; produces a California State Park environmental license plate which individual vehicle owners could purchase and have the fees go towards support of state parks; provides the option for taxpayers to voluntarily purchase an annual state park access pass when they file their state tax returns; requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to be more transparent on how it evaluates and selects specific parks for closure, and places a cap of 25 state park units on the number of park closures allowed from 2012 to 2016 without legislative approval.

AB 42: Require that legislatures be informed when a decision about closing a state park in their district is being discussed/processed, and requires reports to the legislature on state park closures. (cosponsor)

AB 1625: Transitioning to Organic Farming. Establishes a fund to help conventional farmers make the transition to organic farming. The Transition to Organics Fund which would be administered by the state Department of Food and Agriculture and would be funded by voluntary contributions. (sponsor)

AB 921: Using Compost to Improve Water Conservation in Agriculture. Asks the Department of Food and Agriculture to develop more scientific data to show that using more compost in agricultural practices can lead to better water conservation. The Legislature targeted the reduction of organic material from landfills as a major component to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This measure would provide an incentive for increased diversion of organic material from our landfills by creating a larger market for more compost in agriculture use. (sponsor)

AB 88: Require all genetically engineered salmon sold in California be clearly labeled. (cosponsor)

AB 1265: Protects the Williamson Act which enables local governments to partner with property owners to preserve agricultural land and open space. (cosponsor)


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