The legislature is back in session, and with that came a blizzard of status updates, hearing dates, and a smattering of legislative analyses and amendments. All of the details are in our legislation table. Do read the analyses for those bills that have passed through committee hearings; they are very illuminating.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association reports that SB 17, Senator Gaines’s version of the “Repeal the SRA fees” bill, will have a committee hearing on April 9, 2013. They are asking those that wish to participate in the hearing meet them at 8:00 AM at 921 11th Street in the Second Floor Ballroom, Sacramento CA. They will brief you and give you a free T-shirt, then everyone will go to the hearing at the State Capitol. Check in with your RSVP to Eric Eisenhammer at Eric@hjta.org.
Last week we covered more detail on bills for which we have a definite stance. We have a couple of updates:
- AB 416 has been amended to fix that dreadful typo, so we have changed our stance to WATCH. We would like to know more details about how “preventing conversion of agricultural, forest and open space lands” will be implemented.
- AB 374 was added to our list of bills to WATCH, since it discusses eminent domain suits.
- AB 1331 has been gutted and amended to extend the life and purpose of the Coachella Valley Water District.
We have a variety of WATCH bills; some of these bills are casual interest, some of them are only peripherally related to forestry but may get amended in such a way that they affect forestry, and some are WATCH because we can’t tell whether they will be good or bad based on the text of the law.
AB 515 and its Senate analog SB 123 are in the last category. These bill carve out a special CEQA and land use sub-court within the judicial system that will only deal with environmental and land use cases. Depending on how it is implemented and how the judges are chosen for this court, this could be very, very bad or very, very good. Judges indoctrinated in environmentalism could gut what’s left of rural California. Judges that understand that environmental goals must work side by side with functional businesses could rebuild rural California. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell what will happen if these courts are created. Right now, all we can say is that these bills make us very, very nervous.
The Assembly hearing schedule can be found here.
The Senate hearing schedule can be found here.