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March 22nd, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
Senator Bob Huff last week introduced a bill to the State Senate which would allow the sale of state-owned surplus property to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
While California owns a variety of assets, including buildings, stadiums, railroads, fairgrounds, printing plants, parks, office complexes and more, state agencies often determine that these sites, for a variety of reasons, are no longer needed. These properties thus become surplus to the needs of the state.
CEQA requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or lessen those impacts.
“The sale of surplus state property used to be non-controversial because it was a given that it was the responsibility of the new owner or developer to provide for any CEQA requirement when the property is developed,” remarked Senator Huff. “Due to the strong political pressure of the environmental community, however, this common-sense practice has been brought to a halt.”
“Senate Bill 136 will reduce unnecessary duplication by providing an over-arching statutory exemption to the sale of surplus property,” Senator Huff said. “My bill frees up revenue for the state, while making it clear that the final use of the property is not exempted from CEQA’s environmental regulations.”
“In the midst of a harsh economic downturn, the California Legislature must rein in spending, create a rainy day fund and maximize our assets,” continued Senator Huff. “SB 136 will expedite the sale of underutilized assets and is a win-win proposal that crosses party-lines.”