Saturday, December 17, 2022

San Berdoo Sunburn - Votes to Secede from California

 AP, cited at Haut Hair, Exodus: San Bernardino to leave California as well?

An advisory ballot proposal approved in San Bernardino County — home to 2.2 million people — directs local officials to study the possibility of secession. The razor-thin margin of victory is the latest sign of political unrest and economic distress in California.

This attempt to create a new state — which would be the first since Hawaii in 1959 — is a longshot proposition for the county just east of Los Angeles that has suffered from sharp increases in cost of living. It would hinge on approval by the California Legislature and Congress, both of which are highly unlikely.

Still, it’s significant that the vote came from a racially and ethnically diverse county that is politically mixed, as well as the fifth-most populous in the state and the largest in the nation by area. San Bernardino’s 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) is composed of more land than nine states.

The votes speaks to the alienation that some voters feel from a statehouse long dominated by Democrats who have made little progress on the growing homeless crisis, soaring housing costs and rising crime rates while residents pay among the highest taxes in the country.

Capt. Ed snarks  "Won’t happen, and Congress wouldn’t approve it even if California allowed it. The water issue alone would be a deal-breaker. " Yeah, but we can dream can't we? 

At Reason, California's Landmark Environmental Law Finally Comes for the Legislature Itself, Golden State lawmakers have refused to fix the California Environmental Quality Act. Now it could cost them a brand new office building.
California's landmark environmental law has helped thwart state lawmakers' many, many plans for society. They're now thwarting lawmakers' plans for themselves too.

Last week, a California appeals court brought legislators' plans for a new office annex on the state Capitol grounds to a screeching halt when it ruled the $1.3 billion project had been greenlit without the requisite analysis of its environmental effects.

That ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Save Our Capitol!—a motley coalition of small business groups, taxpayer advocates, preservationists, and environmentalists—arguing that the public had not been given adequate opportunity to comment on the final design of the office complex and that the state hadn't put enough thought into less environmentally impactful designs.

Giving the unincorporated group the right to sue is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The 1970 law requires that government agencies study the environmental impacts of their projects and, where possible, mitigate those impacts. That sounds simple enough. The original intent was to force the government to stop and listen to public feedback before paving over wetlands with a new highway project.

But the "citizen-enforced" law gives anyone the ability to file administrative appeals and lawsuits arguing that any of a long list of a project's impacts on natural, physical, cultural, and/or historic resources had not been adequately studied.

Over the decades, court decisions also extended the scope of CEQA to cover even privately sponsored projects (like a new single-family home or apartment building) that government bureaucrats had a minimal level of discretion over.

Today, the law effectively gives anyone with a few hundred dollars to spare the ability to hold up massive projects, public and private, for years or even decades with arguments that this or that impact hasn't been exhaustively examined in reports hundreds of pages long.

By delaying new homes for years (or some cases, decades), CEQA has become a major contributor to the state's housing crisis.

Hoist on their own petard! BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).

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