CEQA Roundup: Faced with budget uncertainty (again), how much can Steinberg do?

CEQA Roundup: Faced with budget uncertainty (again), how much can Steinberg do?

by Justin Ewers : caeconomy.org – excerpt

The state budget continued to muscle CEQA off the political stage this week, with the governor announcing a less-rosy fiscal forecast than many had expected—and the lukewarm response from Democrats offering a glimpse at just how much CEQA reform’s foremost champion, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, currently has on his plate.
Only a few days after wading back into the state’s complex water issues, Steinberg also led Democratic lawmakers’ pushback against the governor’s top budget priority—a new funding formula for schools—along with an array of other proposals affecting everything from the courts to health and human services.
“There’s a disappointing aspect to [the governor’s budget],” Steinberg said, voicing concern among Democrats that the state isn’t doing enough to restore cuts made during the recession. “The budget debate [now] begins in earnest,” Steinberg warned. (That conversation has become even more heated after the LAO’s released its analysis of the state’s fiscal situation today.)
With CEQA reform also waiting in the wings (a task so politically complicated Steinberg has jokingly said his legislation could be called the “How to Make No Friends Act”), it does beg the question: How much can one man do?

CEQA to the back burner?…

Regions push for change

At a recent forum in San Francisco, a group of economic development experts agreed that without making changes to CEQA, regions like the Bay Area simply cannot address one of their most pressing needs: Rebuilding the state’s crumbling infrastructure…

“I would say CEQA is part of our state infrastructure deficit,” said Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s regional transportation planning and finance agency… (more)

Nothing San Francisco and SPUR have done in recent years has added affordable housing and nothing they have planned will add any. Everything they do drives land values and rents, and mortgages higher.

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