By Cheryl Miller: law.com – excerpt
SACRAMENTO — Over the objections of judicial branch leaders, a Senate committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would create at least a dozen specialized CEQA courtrooms around the state.
Senator Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, the author of SB 123, promised to shelve the bill if she cannot secure a method to pay for the new divisions, which would process litigation brought under the California Environmental Quality Act and other land use laws designated by the Judicial Council.
“I have not introduced this bill to suck resources out of our already over [taxed] courts,” Corbett told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill originally called for every court in the state to create a CEQA division. Responding to concerns about the impact on smaller courts, Corbett amended SB 123 earlier this month to now require that the specialized divisions be created in a minimum of 12 courthouses around the state — at least two in each of California’s six appellate districts… (more)