Last week was a busy one in Sacramento as lawmakers scrambled to compromise and pass important pieces of legislation while others will have to “wait ’til next year.” Streetsblog offers the following scorecard for some of the most important pieces of legislation that will impact the drive to create livable streets.
We’re putting the bill’s in numerical order, ignoring the “SB” and “AB” that comes first in their filing numbers so AB 27 would come after SB 4.
Synopsis: There was a lot of excitement for Senator Darrell Steinberg’s efforts to allow communities to create investment authorities to raise funds for smart growth transportation projects. Advocates hailed it as the first attempt to create a mechanism to implement the state’s previous smart growth legislation.
Status: Passed in the Senate, shelved in the Assembly at Steinberg’s request so he could “focus on CEQA reform.”
Synopsis: Senator Fran Paley’s legislation marks the states first serious attempt to regulate the process of removing natural gas from the ground known as hydraulic fracturing or just “fracking.” The environmental impacts of fracking are not fully known, but nobody except the most ardent supporters of the natural gas industry would argue that they are anything but terrible for the environment surrounding areas where fracking takes place.
Paley’s legislation was amended so many times, with a large exemption which seems to limit the governor’s power to act if studies show frackign to be as dangerous as many people feel, that the environmental groups that fought so hard for the legislation’s passage withdrew their support in the waning moments. Paley is continuing to push the bill as the best one that was possible.
Status: The bill was passed by both houses. Many people who oppose fracking, including the Los Angeles Times, are now urging Brown to veto instead of sign.