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Newsom also vetoed S.B. 457, from Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), who was looking for a way to reward people for not owning a car. Portantino wanted to create a personal income tax credit of $1,000 for households that own fewer than one car per adult. According to his veto statement [PDF], Newsom rejected the bill because it would cost the state "nearly one billion dollars." Consistent with other recent vetoes, he writes that "bills with a significant fiscal impact, such as this measure, should be considered and accounted for as part of the annual budget process."
Another of Portantino's bills was also rejected: S.B. 1136 would have required public agencies to perform a CEQA review of any "reasonably foreseeable methods" that might be used to meet required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or other pollution. It would also impose labor requirements on work done to meet those required reductions. Senator Portantino says the bill was meant to streamline CEQA processes by having the state agency perform analysis on new technologies and thus eliminate potentially duplicate analyses.
Again, Newsom objected to the costs involved [PDF].
Governor Newsom did, however, sign another key bill from Senator Portantino: S.B. 932, which requires cities and counties to incorporate a Safe Systems Approach into their General Plans. It also requires them "to develop bicycle plans, pedestrian plans, and traffic calming plans based on the policies and goals in the circulation element that, among other things, sets goals for initiation and completion of all actions identified in the plans within 25 years of the date of adoption of the modified circulation element, as specified."
To give it some teeth - since General Plans are notoriously slow to be updated - the new law also requires them "to begin implementation of the plan within two years of the date of adoption of the plan, to regularly review its progress towards completing implementation of the modified circulation element, and to consider revising the circulation element if it determines it will not reach the goals of the bicycle, pedestrian, or traffic calming plans within 25 years of the date of adoption of the modified circulation element."
Stay tuned for more legislative updates as they dribble out of the Governor's office.
Streetsblog California editor Melanie Curry has been thinking about transportation, and how to improve conditions for bicyclists, since her early days commuting by bike to UCLA long ago. She was Managing Editor at the East Bay Express, and edited Access Magazine for the University of California Transportation Center. She also earned her Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley.