Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he’s pleased with the California Environmental Quality Act changes he pushed through at the end of this year’s session – and he won’t be carrying a broader CEQA overhaul next year.
“It's always easy to say, oh, it wasn't everything that somebody else thinks it should be. Well, I thought what was presented last year went way too far. So I think this is an excellent result and represents real, responsible reform," says Steinberg.
Republicans and business groups had hoped for larger changes in each of the last two years, but both times they ended up disappointed.
In addition to streamlining the controversial law governing development projects for a new Sacramento Kings basketball arena, this year’s measure also removes parking and aesthetics from CEQA review. It’s also intended to encourage infill, mixed-use and transit-oriented development projects.
Another provision would change how traffic impacts are measured during the environmental review process.
The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who’s described CEQA reform as “the Lord’s work.”