Panel approves Steinberg’s CEQA Bill, Kills Broader GOP Version

A bill that would make some changes to California’s landmark environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate on Wednesday, but Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as “too broad and comprehensive a change.”

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg defended his Senate Bill 731, which passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, as an attempt to cut down on project delays the business community has long blamed on the California Environmental Quality Act without undermining the environmental protections the 1970 law provides. He acknowledged that the current bill is a work in progress.

“I’m trying to find the middle path, not just to make a deal, because I’ll walk away from it if it’s just about that, but to substantively approve the statute, to modernize it and to make sure we are giving genuine streamlining incentives and priorities to the projects we want to see more of,” Steinberg said.

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