With a new face in the Governor's office, the California Legislature has wasted no time taking on major policy proposals in 2019. With many relating to CEQA and Housing, AEP's Legislative Committee is busy analyzing legislation and providing input to offices. As part of that advocacy, the AEP Legislative Committee had another very successful trip to Sacramento. On March 5, 2019, the Legislative Committee held its annual Day at the Capitol followed by our annual CEQA Presentation to the Legislature on March 6. We met with nearly 20 Legislators and staffers who work on CEQA and environmental issues, as well as having an extended meeting with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. AEP members gave background about who AEP is and what AEP and our members do. We also discussed some of the key bills AEP is tracking regarding CEQA, land use, housing and wildfires. AEP was very well received and members appreciated our neutral, pragmatic approach to commenting on legislation.
Following our Capitol meetings with Legislators, AEP's President Bill Halligan and AEP Legislative Committee Co-Chairs Betty Dehoney and Kristin Blackson gave a presentation to legislative and administrative staff on several pertinent CEQA issues. First, we presented on wildfire planning and CEQA, and the ways the CEQA process can help inform better decision making. Second, there was a presentation on housing by one of the authors of our commissioned study: CEQA and Housing Production 2018: Survey of California Cities & Counties. Jessica Hitchcock provided a detailed summary of the findings from their survey and showed the ways the data could be informative to policymakers. The presentation was very well attended and well received by staff. It led to AEP being invited to present to the Senate Judiciary Committee the following week.
AEP kicked off 2019 advocacy efforts with another productive trip to Sacramento and will carry that forward throughout the year tracking and commenting on legislation.
As many of you know, Antero (Terry) Rivasplata, Technical Director at ICF International, is a major contributor and valuable part of AEP's Legal & Legislative Committee! Recently, Terry made a presentation before the Senate Judiciary Committee which included an excellent summary of CEQA.
To check out Terry's presentation, click the button below!