Assemblymember Catharine Baker

To get Governor Jerry Brown‘s cap-and-trade bill passed Monday night, it took help from Republicans to get it done, including the East Bay’s Assemblymember¬†Catharine Baker.

Baker, the East Bay’s lone Republican state lawmaker, was one of eight to support Assembly Bill 389. The legislation backed fiercely by Brown over the past week, extends the state’s cap-and-trade legislation through to 2030. It was due to expire in 2020.

Baker appeared at the celebratory press conference following passage of the bill, a type of event that moribund state Republicans rarely get a chance to revel in.

The state’s cap-and-trade legislation has been lauded as a crucial step in helping to protect the environment, but most importantly, say some of its backers, the bill gives other states a roadmap for producing their own strategies.

Although highly complex, cap-and-trade allows industries to release greenhouse gases into the environment in exchange for credits purchased from a state-run market.

Baker’s switch from her party brethren is not entirely new for the lawmaker who has represented the Tri Valley and areas around Walnut Creek and Concord in Contra Costa County since 2014.

Because of the relatively purple shade of the district’s voter registration, Baker in the past has been given some free rein by party bosses to support legislation backed by Democrats. One of the last highly-contentious issues being Baker’s vote in favor of mandatory vaccinations for children.