California Lawmakers Fight Over Land Use Lawsuits

This year's budget dispute is colored by the state's effort to force local governments to reign in sprawl and stop global warming.

"Not a single Republican voted for California's landmark global warming law when the state Senate passed it last year.

Today, the minority party is taking advantage of the law by using it as leverage during negotiations on the overdue state budget.

Republicans are upset that Attorney General Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has told at least a dozen cities and counties that they must offset the increased greenhouse gas emissions that will be a byproduct of future growth. Republicans say that will hurt cities' and counties' transportation and housing plans, and want language in the state budget to protect local governments from what they see as Brown's overly aggressive tactics.

The attorney general already has sued one Southern California county over the matter.

"The hurdle that's being put forward by the attorney general's lawsuits, we think, is something that needs to be addressed," said Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster.

The land-use spat has emerged as one of the most unexpected and divisive points stalling passage of California's $145 billion spending plan, which lawmakers were supposed to approve in mid-June. Democrats and environmentalists fear that what Republicans really want to achieve through the budget process is a way to weaken long-standing environmental checks on local development."

Full Story: Ca. Land-Use Dispute Complicates Budget

Comments

Comments

Two Issues At Least

The land-use spat has emerged as one of the most unexpected and divisive points stalling passage of California's $145 billion spending plan, which lawmakers were supposed to approve in mid-June.

The ONLY point stalling the budget is that the State Constitution requires a balanced budget and $145b is not balanced. There is no scenario where California can realize $145b in FY'08. None, not anything even the Legislature has comissioned.

AG Brown's actions are equally unsanctioned. The political last stand in the CA legislature is not leverage. The Rs have no leverage nor support in the executive. What we have is a Legislative majority unwiling to do its' job and excoriating the minority for the sin of doing theirs.

Same issue year after year.

Ds one year, Rs the next, someone else the year after that. Nothing has changed in CA, and I do miss the clown-like theater of that august body since I moved away.

Best,

D

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