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The SB 375 Waiting Game

Sep 28, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acted on more than 200 bills over the weekend and went to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to commemorate the second anniversary of signing AB 32 but those waiting for him to sign SB 375 are kind of like all those refugees stuck in Casablanca: They wait, and wait, and wait

At the Commonwealth Club on Friday, Schwarzenegger said: "We are not waiting for the federal government. We are continuing our push forward," Schwarzenegger said. "We are on the right track, not just for California, but for the country."

Referring to SB 375, however, Schwarzenegger said: "It will be a huge bill. The important thing is, again, that it is written the right way. I'm going to look at that bill very carefully, because in principle, I love that idea." Schwarzenegger has until Tuesday to act on the bill.

The Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday that the bill's author, Darrell Steinberg, again promised whatever cleanup legislation is necessary in a Friday meeting with the Administration. He told the Bee that it would be difficult to get the SB 375 coalition together again next year.


SB 375 would require California's regional planning agencies to create a future growth scenario that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and then provide a series of incentives, including transportation funding and exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act, for projects that conform to those plans. It was a major topic of conversation at the California planning conference last week, with local government and planning lobbyists providing many details.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Schwarzenegger signed well over 100 bills, including 10 dealing with wildfires. Tops among them was SB 1595 by Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, which cracks down on landowners in high fire hazard areas and requires them to create more "defensible space". But Schwarzenegger also vetoed almost as many bills, saying over and over again in veto messages: I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California."


-- Bill Fulton

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