Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-1341 California Environmental Quality Act: judicial challenge: identification of contributors.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/22/2018 09:00 PM
SB1341:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1341


Introduced by Senator Glazer
(Coauthor: Senator Wilk)

February 16, 2018


An act relating to environmental quality. An act to add Sections 21175 and 21176 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1341, as amended, Glazer. Environmental quality: judicial review: housing projects. California Environmental Quality Act: judicial challenge: identification of contributors.
The California Environmental Quality Act requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment, or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. The act authorizes specified entities to file and maintain with a court an action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul an act of a public agency on grounds of noncompliance with the requirements of the act.
This bill would require a plaintiff or petitioner, in an action brought pursuant to the act, to disclose the identity of a person or entity that contributes in excess of $1,000, as specified, toward the plaintiff’s or petitioner’s costs of the action. The bill also would require the plaintiff or petitioner to identify any pecuniary or business interest related to the project of any person or entity that contributes in excess of $1,000 to the costs of the action, as specified. The bill would provide that a failure to comply with these requirements may be grounds for dismissal of the action by the court.
This bill would prohibit an action or proceeding from being brought in the court to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul an act of a public agency for housing projects on grounds of noncompliance with the requirements of the act, as specified.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.

CEQA authorizes specified entities to bring actions or proceedings seeking judicial review of the lead agency’s action pursuant to CEQA.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to improve the judicial review process of litigation related to housing projects brought pursuant to CEQA, as specified.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21175 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21175.
 (a) In an action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any act or decision of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with this division, the plaintiff or petitioner shall include an affidavit identifying every person or entity who made a monetary contribution of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more, or committed to contribute one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more, for the preparation of the petition and subsequent action or proceeding.
(b) The plaintiff or petitioner shall have a continuing obligation throughout the course of the proceeding to identify any person or entity that has made a single or multiple contributions or commitments, the sum of which is $1,000 or more, and that were intended to fund the action or proceeding.
(c) The disclosures required pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) shall also include the identity of any pecuniary or business interest that the person or entity has related to the proposed project.
(d) A plaintiff or petitioner may request the court’s permission to withhold the public disclosure of a contributor. The court may grant the request if it finds that the public interest in keeping that information confidential clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
(e) A court may, upon its own motion or the motion of any party, take any action necessary to compel compliance with the requirements of this section, up to and including dismissal of the action or proceeding.
(f) An individual contributing funds to file an action or proceeding pursuant to this division in his or her individual capacity, and not as a representative for an organization or association, has the right to limit disclosure of his or her personal information to an in-camera review by the court.
(g) The information disclosed pursuant to this section may be used to enable a court to determine whether the financial burden of private enforcement supports the award of attorneys’ fees in actions or proceedings brought to enforce this division.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21176 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21176.
 (a) An action or proceeding shall not be brought pursuant to Section 21167 challenging the approval of a housing project included in a plan or project already approved following the completion of an environmental review conducted pursuant to this section, including the resolution of any action or proceeding brought against that prior environmental review.
(b) This section does not affect the obligations of a housing project included in a previously approved plan or project to comply with the requirements under this division for completing further environmental study, including complying with all applicable public notice and comment requirements associated with that environmental review.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to improve the judicial review process of litigation related to housing projects brought pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 28000) of the Public Resources Code) to do all of the following:

(a)Require parties in the litigation to disclose their identities.

(b)Prohibit that litigation if the housing project being challenged is consistent with a previously certified environmental impact report prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.

(c)Prohibit the court from ordering a stay or otherwise enjoining a housing project, unless the court finds that certain conditions are present at the project site.