Wednesday, August 22, 2007

California Budget Finally Approved – Environmental Law (Mostly) Dodges a Bullet

The California Legislature finally approved the 2007-2008 State Budget yesterday – 51 days into the fiscal year and more than two months past the legal deadline of June 15. As has been discussed here and in many other forum’s, one of the biggest hurdles to completing the budget was the demand by the minority party in the Senate to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), particularly as it relates to global warming pollution.

So how’d it turn out? Though the language affecting CEQA is complicated, and will undoubtedly be litigated, it appears that little damage was done. There is a good post on the California Majority Report blog by Steve Maviglio, Assembly Speaker Nunez’s Deputy Chief Staff responsible for communications, which explains the CEQA deal in plain English.

There is also a particularly good post over at Bill Bradley’s New West Notes blog, which discusses more of the political context of this climate change skirmish.

Both of these articles are worth a read if you’re looking for more details about what played out over the past month.

** UPDATE** If you want to read the actual language of the CEQA exemption (SB 97 - Dutton) including the floor analyses and the vote count, you can find all that information here.

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