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Governor Newsom Unveils Legislative Package Aimed At Accelerating the Development of a Sustainable Future

Governor Newsom Unveils Legislative Package Aimed At Accelerating the Development of a Sustainable Future

On Friday May 19, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a significant legislative package and signed an executive order aimed at facilitating the construction of transportation and clean energy infrastructure in the state. Projects potentially affected by these changes would include, among others:

  • Solar, wind, and battery storage projects,
  • Regional rail projects,
  • Bridge projects,
  • Delta conveyance projects, and 
  • Wildfire safety projects.

The move comes as California aims to take advantage of funding from the Biden administration to support climate-friendly construction initiatives. The proposal seeks to expedite the contracting process for water and bridge projects, impose deadlines for environmental litigation, and simplify permitting for complex developments in various regions. 

Several key features of the proposal are as follows:

  • Expedited court deadlines.  Restrict the duration of CEQA lawsuits for specific projects in water, transportation, clean energy, semiconductor, and microelectronics sectors. This time limitation appears to expand the application of expedited CEQA litigation, which has already been implemented for certain housing and major sports stadium projects, to projects in these new sectors. (For instance, the rules requiring that CEQA cases be resolved within 270 days of filing the certified record of proceedings, as seen in Assembly Bills 734 and 987.)
  • Thinner administrative records.  Provide government agencies with greater control over what is included in a project’s administrative records, overturning a recent appellate court decision that required the inclusion of internal emails as part of that record. 
  • Strike team established. Establish an infrastructure strike team to ensure the completion of targeted projects and hold agencies accountable to deliver expected results along faster timeframes. 
  • Other streamlining provisions.  Other aspects of Newsom's package involve easing contracting barriers for state agencies, implementing a simpler job contracting model for the transportation department, and streamlining environmental mitigation and permitting efforts for projects impacting endangered species or situated within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The government anticipates that these measures could accelerate project construction schedules by more three years and reduce costs by hundreds of millions of dollars, aligning with the state's ambitious climate goals. The governor's proposal consists of 11 bills that are expected to be integrated into the 2023-24 state budget.

For more information about the Governor’s proposals, please visit:

For More Information, Please Contact:

Huong 'Jenny' Dao
Huong "Jenny" Dao
Walnut Creek, CA