CEQA Working Group Responds to End of Session CEQA Developments
SB 731 Turned into Two-Year Bill. SB 743 Contains Only Minor Improvements.
CEQA Working Group Coalition:
As we reported yesterday, and in large part due to your efforts, Senator Steinberg decided to make SB 731, his bill that would have made the CEQA process more burdensome, a two-year bill.
Last night, SB 743, Senator Steinberg’s bill to streamline the CEQA process for the Sacramento Kings arena, was approved. The bill was amended to include provisions making other small changes to CEQA that amount to only minor improvements. The CEQA Working Group didn’t take a position on SB 743 but issued the statement below making clear we have much more work ahead of us to achieve meaningful and comprehensive CEQA reform.
Thank you for your continued support and efforts throughout this process. Over the past year we made tremendous progress with legislators, the press, and the public, raising awareness of the ways CEQA is being abused for non-environmental reasons. We have built a strong, diverse coalition and have laid the groundwork for progress in the future. We will keep in touch as our efforts continue in pursuit of true CEQA reform.
Below is the CEQA Working Group’s statement in response to the end-of-session developments.
Carl Guardino, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group:
“Senator Steinberg made the right choice by turning SB 731 into a two-year bill. The bill as it is currently written is not meaningful CEQA reform, and actually contains troublesome provisions that would increase opportunities for litigation and delays for worthy projects. We want to thank the Pro Tem, Assembly Speaker and the Governor for the time they have dedicated to this issue. In particular, we want to thank Senator Steinberg for taking on the difficult and thankless task.”
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce:
“While we are disappointed we were not able to accomplish CEQA reform this year, we believe our coalition has been successful in raising awareness that CEQA needs to be modernized. This resulted in a widespread consensus from editorial boards, lawmakers, and thought leaders from throughout California that we must preserve the law’s environmental protections, while reducing opportunities for meritless litigation and bureaucratic delays for projects that meet our state’s stringent environmental laws and regulations. While we appreciate the effort that went into SB 743, we want to be clear that this law represents only a very marginal improvement. It is not the comprehensive reform that we need to support environmentally responsible job-inducing projects that our state needs. We remain committed to achieving true CEQA reform and will continue to pursue this important and long-overdue task.”