Moving the Needle Forward > SB 582 On Its Way to the Governor
July 14, 2011
In my humble opinion, one of the things that sets Wendel Rosen apart from other firms in the green space is our desire to move the needle forward. Not only do we represent clients who focus on sustainability as an operating principle, but we also take part in legislative initatives that are designed to expand the principles of sustainability to all.
Today, I am proud to state that SB 582 passed through the California State Legislature on Wednesday. SB 582 – a commuter benefits bill – was modeled on a San Francisco ordinance that required employers to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, and air pollution by offering employees options to pay for alternative commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars (e.g., commuter checks to buy high-value BART or Muni passes). This legislation doesn’t just benefit employees, however. There is a financial benefit to the employer, as well, because participation in this initiative is sweetened through a reduction in the payroll taxes that the employer pays.
It is estimated that approximately forty percent (40%) of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions is due to commuting. Reducing vehicle miles traveled by the sole driver is a priority to reducing these emissions. By offering commuter benefits, such as those outlined by SB 582, employers and employees can work together to consider alternatives to simply driving alone to the office.
Wendel Rosen, like other mission-driven businesses, happily supported SB 582 (as you can see from the Wendel Rosen Letter of Support for SB 582). We’ve been offering commuter benefits to our employees for years. We’re proud of that track record, and we are equally pleased to have assisted in the passage of this bill.
We can’t wait for Governor Jerry Brown to sign it into law.