Once again, opponents of California’s environmental laws are taking advantage of the state’s dire fiscal condition to propose concessions to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other environmental protections during the budget process. (Read a CLCV analysis of a bill introduced by Senator Cannella to undermine CEQA here.) The bill (along with other demands) is essentially a ransom note. Senator Cannella and four other state Senators insist on gutting CEQA in exchange for their votes on the state budget to allow tax extensions to be put before voters in a proposed special June election.
Legislators should have the integrity to debate the merits of environmental protections through the legislative process, not in secret behind closed doors. We urge Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders to insist that any proposals that seek to change our cornerstone environmental laws be assigned to the appropriate policy or budget subcommittees for full and open discussion and action.