Senator Portantino Authors Key Bills on First Day Back in Session 710, Environmental Protection & Redevelopment Take Focus
Sacramento, California- California State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D - La Cañada Flintridge) used his first day of the new legislative session to keep his 710 tunnel promise, revisit the redevelopment issue, and take a bold environmental stance.
In 2016, Senator Portantino helped negotiate the process of ending the 710-freeway threat in our region. During the negotiations he made a commitment to the activists and to the Department of Transportation to wait until the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the corridor was certified before introducing legislation to delete the 710 from the streets and highways code. Last week, Senator Portantino and Transpiration Secretary Brian Annis unveiled the final EIR for the corridor at a press conference in Pasadena, paving the way for the today’s action.
On the first day of the legislative session, Senator Portantino kept his promise and introduced SB 7 to delete the 710 freeway from the California Streets and highways code. The bill will also help facilitate the sale of properties owned by Caltrans but leased to several important non-profits by clarifying the value of the properties. In addition, Senator Portantino will be working closely with cities within the 710 corridor to help facilitate the proper disposition of the left-over freeway stubs. Once finalized, the stub language will be inserted into SB 7. SB 7 has already garnered key support from several co-authors, Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D- Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) have all signed on.
“It was very important to me that I maintained the integrity of the commitments that I made in December of 2017 in regard to ending the 710-tunnel threat. Metro, Caltrans and the Secretary all kept to the dignified ending process envisioned for the outcome of the 710 tunnel. Now, the EIR is certified it is appropriate to introduce legislation to further cement the provisions within the EIR. The affected cities and the region can continue to move forward with a calm and cohesive process,” commented Senator Portantino.
Senator Portantino also introduced a spot bill, SB 15, to reestablish Redevelopment Agencies in California. This issue is of interest to Senator Portantino as he was one of the lone votes in opposition to the dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies when he was in the Assembly. Is vote ran counter to Assembly leaders at the time but the Senator felt it was important to stand on principal and vote the best interests of his district. The 25th Senate District has several cities that properly used Redeployment as an economic driver and development tool.
“I always felt that redevelopment was an important economic driver for local cities and affordable housing. It needed reform and accountability not dissolution. I’m hopeful that we can come to a reasonable reintroduction of Redevelopment this legislative session,” commented Senator Portantino.
Senator Portantino also joined with Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senator Henry Stern as joint authors of SB 1. SB 1 maintains California’s leadership on environmental policy and protects California residents from environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration. These rollbacks would make attempts to undercut labor and environmental protections in California separate and enforceable actions under California law.
SB1 enacts the California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act, which prohibits a state or local agency from amending or revising its rules to be less stringent than the federal baseline standards pertaining to environmental protection.
California has some of the most, if not the most, protective public health and environmental laws in the country. Protecting human health and the environment and promoting economic growth are not mutually exclusive. This bill is intended to ensure that the strong environmental protections, coupled with the strong economic performance that California has achieved, is not un-done by the Trump Administration.
Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, La Verne, Los Feliz, Monrovia, Montrose, Pasadena, San Dimas, San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga, and Upland.