Sustainable communities bills await the Governor’s signature

Last Friday was the final day for the Legislature to forward bills to the Governor’s desk for the year. A number of bills that would shape future land use and transportation in California now await his signature — or veto.  ClimatePlan doesn’t take positions on legislation, but we’ve been keeping a close eye on these bills and sharing information and action alerts with our network of partners.  Here are a few of the highlights.  For a detailed list, you can also click here to download a summary of the bills we tracked this session (including a few that never made it).

Two bills dealing with cap and trade revenue made it to the Governor’s desk. A lot of attention has been paid to this issue in recent months, as cap and trade presents the greatest potential source of new state funding for sustainable communities. Neither of the bills (AB 1532 or SB 535), would dictate exactly how the money would be spent, but 1532 outlines a process by which it should be allocated, and 535 would ensure that some of the money flows to disadvantaged communities.  Many were disappointed by last minute changes to 1532 that eliminated some provisions around robust public participation, and more specifics about the types of programs that should be funded (including sustainable transportation and affordable TOD).

There was also the usual flurry of last-minute activity around changes to CEQA.  Several CEQA exemption bills made it through, for rural road safety projects (AB 890) and bike lanes (AB 2245), but a massive overhaul of CEQA was stopped in the 11th hour.

And finally, there were a number of bills meant to fill the void left by the elimination of redevelopment.  SB 1156, SB 214, and AB 2144 would each recreate some of the functions of redevelopment, but with less revenue and less broad power.  It remains to be seen whether the Governor will sign any of these bills.  Stay tuned!

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