“Dan Morain: Using CEQA as bait, Pérez muscles tax bill”

August 15, 2012

By Dan Morain

“Republicans are all but irrelevant in the Legislature except when the talk turns to tax increases,which require two-thirds votes. To round up the few Republicans he needs, Pérez is offering sweeteners.

The biggest plum would be an overhaul of the California Environmental Quality Act, the 1970 law signed by then Gov. Ronald Reagan that has been used and sometimes misused to restrict and block development.

In an email that is bouncing around the Capitol, a Pérez aide circulated language for one version of the overhaul. Proponents of the changes say the proposal would remove red tape from development. Environmentalists say the proposal would gut the law.

The truth is hard to come by. With the legislative session down to its final weeks, there won’t be time for legislative hearings on the changes. The language has not appeared publicly in an actual bill.”