The best prospect for reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is no longer with the Legislature or the Governor, but at the California Supreme Court.
Over the past several years, hopes were high that the political branches would dig in to drain the CEQA litigation swamp. Governor Brown famously called CEQA reform the “Lord’s work.” Outgoing Senate leader Darrell Steinberg made reform of this law an “agenda priority” in 2013.
But for all the sound and fury – not incidentally as California struggled to recover from a deep recession – the rhetoric signified nothing. The legislative reform efforts fizzled and even Governor Brown has expressed a diminished enthusiasm for reform. Indeed, one of the most significant CEQA bills over the past four years expanded its scope to include Native American religio-cultural beliefs.
Enter the high court… (more)