Earlier this month, I posted an entry regarding the latest legislative effort at meaningful CEQA reform. See New CEQA Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps and Extend Indefinitely Current Standing Requirements For After-Formed Organization Plaintiffs, by Arthur F. Coon, posted May 1, 2014. I was genuinely enthused about SB 1451’s content and its prospects, thoughts I shared at length with a Daily Journal reporter who contacted me shortly after my post in connection with a story she was writing on the proposed law.
Unfortunately, the prospect of meaningful legislative CEQA reform offered by SB 1451 was short-lived. Less than a week after my post, the bill’s author, Senator Hill, requested cancellation of a May 6 hearing on the bill that had been set before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. My Daily Journal reporter contact tabled her story; for all intents and purposes, it appears that SB 1451 is “dead in the water.” A contact in the environmental consulting industry relates that a trusted source has advised that political pressure from organized labor interests killed the bill. This outcome is certainly not surprising, but it is nonetheless disappointing to proponents of meaningful and common-sense CEQA reform.