Billionaire Tom Steyers Outlines Plan to Change California

If you aren’t familiar with Tom Steyer yet, it’s time to start paying attention.

The billionaire environmentalist is often called a Democratic counterweight to the Koch brothers. He is a possible 2018 gubernatorial candidate, enjoys a close relationship to Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate leader Kevin de León, and is eager to pour millions into democratic races across California and the U.S.

Steyer, who made his fortune managing a hedge fund, reportedly spent $74 million in last year’s midterm election, mostly through his super PAC. He has suggested he is ready to spend even more next year, but said its premature to say how much he plans to spend next year, and for which races. But he wants to see a $15 statewide minimum wage.

Steyer came to Sacramento on Thursday with his Fair Shake Commission, a panel of eminent progressive leaders that includes Darrell Steinberg. He sat down with Business Journal to chat about his upcoming role in the 2016 election, and how the policies he supports — like greater curbs on carbon emissions — would affect business.

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