Supporters of the Sacramento Kings pro basketball team are trying to get a $258 million subsidy for a new arena. The deal has been controversial because of the size of the proposed giveaway and the fact that — well — the Kings are a lousy team that fans shun.
According to an article in Capitol Weekly, a bill passed by the legislature in September and signed by the governor, SB 743, was supposedly meant to streamline environmental review for the arena, but the bill has statewide implications.
The Capitol Weekly article points out that the bill will weaken requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by giving priority to projects that have some kind of public transit available within a half mile from the project location.
Environmental groups opposed the bill, warning that it opens the door to questonable projects around the state and could lead to another bill next year that would further weaken CEQA.
Sponsor of SB 743, senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, boasted, "We [combined] a great opportunity for Sacramento with the imperative to modernize the environmental statute statewide."