Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he’s weighed the concerns of all sides in the CEQA debate – and decided he wants his bill to encourage urban infill development and discourage suburban sprawl.
But the business coalition supporting a more sweeping overhaul says Steinberg’s proposal wouldn’t do enough to spur the economy and reduce abusive lawsuits. “Infill is one piece of that, if we agree on that approach. But it’s a much bigger issue for California’s economy. We’re talking about the state as a whole, and it goes far beyond infill,” says Rob Lapsley with the California Business Roundtable.
Still, Steinberg had some blunt words for the business groups: “If there is any expectation – and I know there is a big expectation – that my bill will include the lengthy and ever-changing list that the CEQA coalition seems to want, you’re gonna have to find another author, another year, another time, another way to do this,” he told the Assembly Local Government Committee Wednesday, which passed his bill by a 7-0 vote.
Labor and environmental groups are heavily lobbying against major changes to the law. All sides say they want to continue working with Steinberg over the final month of this year’s legislative session.