03/05/2024

CEQA Overhaul Puts Lawmakers on Tightrope

At the urging of Gov. Jerry Brown and major business groups, some of the most influential legislators in Sacramento are trying to fix the California Environmental Quality Act.
Lots of luck with that.

Many of the law’s defenders say privately that provisions permitting lawsuits are misused. But CEQA’s protectors include organized labor, plaintiffs’ lawyers and environmentalists, the foundation of the Democratic Party’s base, and a reality that suggests there won’t be significant change any time soon.

There’s nothing simple about CEQA. Signed into law 43 years ago by Gov. Ronald Reagan, the California Environmental Quality Act is ingrained in the fabric of this state. Often, it’s a citizen’s last defense against encroachment, as Lev Leytes can attest.

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