CEQA reform framework legislation advances

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 3, 2013

The Senate Environmental Quality Committee approved the passage of SB 731 (Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento) this week, which lays out a framework for comprehensive reform of the California Environmental Quality Act, better known as CEQA. 

The bill passed out of committee on an 8 to 0 vote with many committee members complementing the author for his courage in tackling this issue. Since the sudden resignation of Senator Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield) from the State Senate earlier this year, President Pro Tempore Steinberg has become point on CEQA reform. SB 731 represents his effort to bring all stakeholders to the table, business and environmentalist alike, to discuss how best to modernize CEQA to improve the effectiveness and application of the law. 

SB 731 is just the beginning of the conversation and very much remains a work in progress, a fact that was reiterated amongst the bill’s supporters during the hearing. Opposition was present, but minimal, with one environmental group defending the law by opposing any changes to it. CMTA, as well as other organizations, remain committed to the process and are hopeful that the dialogue will bring about meaningful change as the bill moves forward.

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