Today Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) voted in support of several bills to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to make building key infrastructure projects in the state easier. Two local beneficiaries of these bills include a groundwater recharge project in the Antelope Valley, and a rail line connecting the High Desert to the Inland Empire and Las Vegas.
“This is a win-win for constituents and for our state’s climate goals, ensuring access to precious water during the inevitable dry years and connecting commuters to jobs down the hill,” said Senator Wilk. “We all know there have been abuses of the permitting process for decades, stalling projects and driving costs through the roof. While I am very pleased to have supported these bills today, we need to go even further to make it easier and cheaper to build homes. Our work has just begun.”
Senate Bill 145 helps speed up The Brightline West (BLW) rail project, which will provide electrified passenger high-speed rail service from Rancho Cucamonga to Las Vegas.
Senate Bill 149 will help the Willow Springs Water Bank in the Antelope Valley, located just outside of Senate District 21 near Rosamond. The Willow Springs Water Bank is designed to provide water authorities the ability to store up to 500,000 acre-feet of water in underground aquifers during wet years for use during droughts.
As part of the consideration of the infrastructure package, Senator Wilk was tapped to join the Senate Select Committee on Infrastructure Streamlining and Workforce Equity Committee. The group held its first hearing on June 29.
California Senate Republicans in the California Legislature have been pushing for CEQA reforms for decades, including these CEQA reforms.