On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed six different economic development bills designed to get California’s economy going again, including the groundbreaking Senate Bill 1156, known as the Sustainable Communities Bill, which has been written about before in Frying Pan News. Despite the fact that the sustainable communities program would have reinvented the old redevelopment in a completely new image and restarted sustainable community project areas from scratch, the governor argued that he wanted to see the old redevelopment completely dissolved before starting anything new.
Undaunted, state Senator Darrell Steinberg – the author of SB 1156 – has vowed to reintroduce the bill at the very beginning of the next session (January, 2013) and get it passed through the legislature and signed by the governor early in the year. In fact, according to a letter sent to coalition activists, Sen. Steinberg has already reserved the first bill number available to members of the state Senate,
NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Fund] and Move LA released a report today touting the expansive benefits of sustainability planning in three of California’s largest cities—representing nearly two-thirds of the state’s population. The report explores how Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego are already building the cities of the future thanks to the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, or SB 375, authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg in 2008.
Four years ago, SB 375 was nothing less than a revolution in the way California plans for growth. It linked regional transportation planning to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging a wide range of travel options and giving Californians the kinds of communities they want.
Our analysis found that enacting SB 375 into law was an achievement that distinguished California as a national leader in creating communities that meet both our economic and environmental challenges.
On August 29, 2012, one of the most important job creation and environmental bills in recent memory was adopted by the legislature and sent to the governor. Senate Bill 1156 was developed and introduced by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg and supported by a strong majority in both houses. Steinberg built quiet momentum behind the bill starting last February, in partnership with a broad-based coalition of community, environmental, labor, smart-growth and good-government activists, with support from the counties, infill developers, non-profit housing developers and business.
Indeed, despite the fact that the new legislation builds on the mostly eradicated foundation of the old redevelopment scheme (see background here), the bill attracted surprisingly little opposition. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the anti-union Alliance of Building Contractors (ABC) were its only formal opponents.
While SB 1156 is a comprehensive, “big picture” bill, it would also do a lot to help ordinary Californians.