(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, the California State Assembly voted to approve Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) AB 726, which would expand the eligibility of the Capital Investment Incentive Program (CIIP) to include opportunities for clean transportation projects. Garcia’s legislation aims to improve upon a program that is used by the County of Imperial to spur economic growth. After today’s success, AB 726 will now advance to the California State Senate.
“This measure will allow the Capital Investment Incentive Program to be more impactful in my district and other regions across our state looking to attract clean transportation projects and create jobs. In addition to opening up critical economic development opportunities, these program updates will help us to achieve California’s clean transportation and air quality goals,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
AB 726 opens the eligibility criteria within the CIIP to businesses who seek to invest $150 million or more to construct facilities engaged in the manufacturing of fuels, electrical parts, or components used in the field of clean transportation or the production of alternative fuel vehicles or electric vehicles. Local governments will be allowed to offer a local tax abatement to qualified manufacturers if it chooses.
Imperial County has recently been coined as the Lithium Valley due to its significant underground lithium deposits. Assemblymember Garcia, Chair of the newly established Assembly Select Committee on California’s Lithium Economy, has been actively working to see how this potential can help uplift this part of his district, suffering the highest unemployment rate in the state.
The County of Imperial has looked to the CIIP in order to attract jobs to the region, and local stakeholders agree that these crucial economic opportunities would be maximized with the passage of Garcia’s bill.
“Making this addition to the already great CIIP incentive will provide economic developers statewide with one more tool in the toolbox that we can use in our efforts to attract projects seeking to manufacture products in the clean transportation industry,” stated Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation in a letter endorsing the measure.