Jerry Brown says CEQA reform unlikely this year

HONG KONG -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that winning a major overhaul of California’s environmental laws was unlikely this year as he focuses on transforming the state’s public school funding, developing a plan to deal with its overcrowded prisons and upgrading its water system.

As he wrapped up a weeklong trade mission to China, Brown talked to reporters about his trip and what awaits him back in Sacramento. Sipping green tea and sitting on on a long white couch surrounded by top aides, he said that changing the California Environmental Quality Act was unlikely this year.

“This is not something you get done in a year,” Brown said, explaining that “there are very powerful forces that are strong in the party that will resist” changes to the law. “But I believe before I depart this stage, we’ll see reform in CEQA.”

“I’ve got a big agenda,” Brown said, mentioning education, prisons and water. “But I would say the appetite for CEQA reform is bigger outside the state capital than it is inside.

When asked if that meant it might take an initiative to change the law, he said, “That’s always a possibility.”



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