by Justin Ewers : caeconomy.org – excerpt
For one day this week, at least, all of the major players in the CEQA debate seemed to be on the same page: Which is to say, directly behind Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
After several months of public squabbling over how to change the state’s premier environmental law, Steinberg made his pitch for his CEQA reform bill to the Senate’s environmental quality committee—and the line of people testifying in support went almost out of the committee room’s door.
“People on all sides are serious about this,” Steinberg told the committee. “I’ve come to the conclusion that CEQA doesn’t need to be fundamentally rewritten, but it needs to be updated. There are parts of the law that ought to be changed.”
Real disagreements still exist over how best to proceed (more below on where the debate seems headed), but on Wednesday, Steinberg was flanked by leaders of the business coalition supporting reform and environmental groups that have opposed overhauling the law. Queued up behind him were advocates from the newly-formed public works coalition—the public agencies responsible for implementing CEQA—as well as a range of affordable housing groups, alternative energy producers, and city planners.
What everyone agrees on
All seemed to agree on one thing: Steinberg’s SB 731 is a good-faith effort to reform the state’s more than 40-year-old environmental law… (more)