Lengthy environmental litigation in California isn't a new speedbump for contractors to overcome but the LA Times reports a special California Senate bill passed in 2011 giving a building project special fast-track benefits may be the model for current and future builds.
If approved, SB 734 will affect any project in California that costs more than $100 million to build, and provides for higher wages for construction workers. The bill does not shield projects from the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. Instead, it allows any CEQA lawsuits against the developments to move through the courts more quickly.
Four projects currently under construction are the immediate beneficiaries and supporters of SB 734 believe the bill will substantially lessen the time it takes to complete mega-projects in California.
Environmental groups say the proposed bill isn't strict enough and the state's Judicial Council is against the bill because it would give some cases preference in the legal system.
California's environmental good intentions have grown into job creation delays, making SB 734 important to watch. Read the text of SB 734 here. The bill must pass before the end of the legislative session in August. Read the entire LA Times article here: