It’s D-Day for AEG’s Los Angeles stadium fast-track bill, which passed the state senate on Wednesday and now goes to the state assembly. With the legislative session ending today, either the bill will get swiftly approved — just nine days after it was written, though that still wouldn’t be a record — or AEG will need to decide whether to move ahead with its project without the promise that any lawsuits will be swiftly resolved.
The state senate, however, appears to be focused on a new bill, introduced just yesterday, that would allow the governor to fast-track any development project over $100 million, for the next three years. Reports the L.A. Times:
Senators acknowledged that the broader measure would probably have to pass if they are to approve the AEG stadium bill. Its principal co-author, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), said it was justified by the state’s 12% unemployment rate.
“This is a recession,” Steinberg said. “People are hurting, and we have to use every tool in our disposal to help people get back to work, and do so in a way that does not undermine our very important environmental laws.”
The bill, AB 900, would allow a wide variety of projects — residential, commercial, sports, cultural, entertainment, renewable energy and recreational — to apply to the governor for expedited treatment. They would have to be located on an under-utilized property in a developed area.
This would make Steinberg, for one, happy because it could potentially be applied to the Sacramento Kings arena; the senate leader is co-chair of Sacramento’s Think Big committee trying to get that built. Less happy, though, are the environmentalists who’d endorsed the AEG-specific bill: National Resources Defense Council attorney David Pettit had barely finished blogging about how the AEG bill was worthwhile because they’d added legally binding commitments to increase public transit use by fans when he was telling the Times that the broader bill was problematic because it could apply to so many projects:”There are a lot of projects that could get under the wire by 2015.”
According to the Times, though, senate leaders say it’s the broader bill or no bill at all. Looks like you can listen live here (and possibly watch live here) if you want to follow the play-by-play of today’s final senate session.