Landmark Smart Growth Bill Close to Passing in CA

CA's landmark smart growth bill, SB 375, is close to passing. It aims to reduce global warming by requiring regions to devise "sustainable community strategies".

"The measure (SB 375) links regional planning for housing and transportation with California's new greenhouse gas reduction goal (AB 32) enacted in 2006. The goal is to reduce greenhouse emissions to the 1990 level by 2020. That's a 30% cut from projected emissions.

"One issue everyone has been afraid to touch is land use," Steinberg says. "Everyone understands about using alternative fuel. But land use has been the third rail. AB 32 changed the equation because now land use has to be part of the solution to global warming. You can't meet our goal just with alternative fuels. You have to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled."

"Basically the bill would work like this: Each metropolitan region would adopt a "sustainable community strategy" to encourage compact development. They'd mesh it with greenhouse emissions targets set by the California Air Resources Board, which is charged with commanding the state's fight against global warming.

And this is the key part: Transportation projects that were part of the community plan would get first dibs on the annual $5 billion in transportation money disbursed by Sacramento. (Projects approved before 2010 would be funded under the current system.)"

"Tom Adams, board president of the California League of Conservation Voters, calls the measure "the most important land-use bill in California since enactment of the Coastal Act" three decades ago."

"It is also the first legislation to link transportation funding with climate policy," he said.

"The bill is on the Assembly floor and, if passed as expected, must return to the Senate for approval of amendments. No Republican voted for the measure when it first passed the Senate last year before substantial amending. It requires only a simple majority vote."

Thanks to Jennifer Alverson

Full Story: A smart bill for smart growth in California is on the verge of passage in Legislature
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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Bill's future is uncertain

the bill was amended on Friday (8/22) and is scheduled to be voted upon Monday.....but word is that Assembly Democrats will be in DEN for the convention, so it would seem doubtful that 41 votes can assured.

See Legislative chronology/documents of SB 375 in the Session
to keep track of the lack of progress :-(

And then there's Schwarzenegger - vowing to not sign any bills until he gets a budget - which was due June 15.

Finally, expert Bill Fulton (Planetizen:SB 375 Frenzy May Be Short-Lived) questions whether any of it matters because he see's the next President signing a new global warming reduction bill that will pre-empt California's AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Law)

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

SJ Mercury News:Goal is to cut global warming by limiting sprawl

"The bill would make California the first state in the nation to attempt to reduce global warming emissions by drawing up regional plans to reduce miles driven by passenger vehicles, then directing most transportation funding only to so-called "smart growth" projects."...By Paul Rogers, 08/24/2008

Rogers is their environmental reporter who also understands how smart growth benefits the environment.

Lawmakers aim to cut global warming by limiting sprawl

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

SB 375 Passes the Assembly....

on a 49-22 bipartisan vote, no less, on Monday, 8/25.

Assembly advances land-use incentives

Looks like it's pretty clear sailing for the bill to pass the legislature....the Governor is another story though with the budget in disarray and his vow to veto any bills the legislature sends to him until it passes a budget....
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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