Sen. Jerry Hill to Lead Senate Committee on Environmental Quality
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) is expected to become the new chair of the California Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, which considers bills on water and air pollution, toxic materials and other environmental concerns.
Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) announced Tuesday that Hill is his choice to replace Sen. Michael Rubio, a Bakersfield Democrat who resigned Feb. 22 for family reasons and took a job with Chevron.
Hill served the Assembly’s 19th District from 2008-2012 and was elected to the state Senate last year. In January, Hill became chair of the Democratic Caucus and the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. He is a former member of the San Mateo City Council (1991-1998) and San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (1998-2008).
Hill has been involved in environmental affairs for many years. He has served on the California Air Resources Board and with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, where he pursued tighter air pollution rules for the Port of Oakland and other local emitters. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Hill authored (AB 2167) that allows the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to issue bonds at a low interest rate for the repayment of regional drinking water infrastructure improvement costs. The bill could save up to $35 million for water customers in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties, according to Hill’s office.
Hill also has worked on legislation related to high-speed rail, alternative energy and vehicle smog checks.
The Senate Committee on Environmental Quality could play a prominent role this year since Brown and others have floated the idea that it’s to reform the California Environmental Quality Act.