Since the rush of bill introductions, legislative activity on energy has focused on the oversight and allocation of Proposition 39\u2019s $2.5 billion for energy efficiency installations on schools. In the meantime, new bills have surfaced, including one seeking to increase the ability of minority, women and disabled veteran enterprises to tap into ratepayer-funded public goods grants and loans. Another measure attempts to alleviate state universities from the requirements of the state\u2019s climate protection law, AB 32. \tSB 497 by Sen. Mimi Walter(R-Irvine) requires the California Air Resources Board to give the California State University and University of California free greenhouse gas allowances under its cap-and-trade program to comply with AB 32. The Air Board would be prohibited from charging any AB 32-related fee on the state universities. \tAB 340 by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) expands coverage of General Order 156, which seeks to increase energy business diversity for research and development funds disbursed by the California Public Utilities Commission under its Electric Program Investment Charge. EPIC funding amounts to $162 million a year, and replaces the Public Interest Energy Research program at the California Energy Commission. Lawmakers voted down reauthorizing the CEC\u2019s clean energy research and development fund, motivating the governor to urge the CPUC to create a similar program. \t Legislation that cyclically reappears is one attempting to count all hydropower supplies in the state as renewable under the California Renewable Portfolio Standard. Under the 33 percent renewables law, only hydropower supplies from plants sized up to 30 MW qualify as renewable. Large hydro facilities were excluded because of the significant impacts to river system ecosystems. AB 762 by Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) is this year\u2019s version. The CPUC staff warned that counting all hydro as green energy under the bill would create \u201cmarket uncertainty for new renewables.\u201d AB 762 is set to be heard by the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee April 8. The two main bills detailing how the voter-approved Prop. 39 efficiency funds are to be spent are SB 39 by Sen. Kevin De Leon (D- Los Angeles) and AB 39 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland). The two bills, which largely mirror each other, were amended to eliminate limitations to interest-free loans for eligible projects. Another revision directs the Office of Public School Construction to work with the Energy Commission on developing a program defining eligibility for schools and other public buildings for efficiency funds. De Leon\u2019s SB 39 is set for an April 10 hearing in the Senate Education Committee. AB 846 by Assemblymember Katcho Achadijian (R-San Luis Obispo) breathes a bit of life into public renewable financing programs for renewable and energy efficient retrofits. The bill authorizes a school district, county office of education or charter school to sign up for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing that\u2019s been approved by the California Alternative Energy and Advance Transportation Financing. This PACE financing, which covers the upfront costs in exchange for long-term property assessments, can be used to fund renewable installations, electric vehicle charging stations and\/or water and energy efficiency retrofits. PACE financing for homeowners was stopped in its track by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in June 2010 because of fears that it added a risk to federally backed mortgages.