SBCTC-Backed Bill Encouraging Sustainable Development Passes Assembly

August 29, 2012  - The Assembly has approved legislation that would allow local governments to create “Sustainable Communities Investment Areas” to allow for sustainable, environmentally healthy development projects. SB 1156 by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, passed by a 50-27 vote and moves next to the Senate for concurrence in amendments.

Projects in those areas that meet the sustainability requirements in the bill--such as high-quality transit, walkability, clean energy manufacturing--would be eligible for tax increment financing from the local governments. Funding would also be authorized to support High Speed Rail stations and related infrastructure.

At the urging of Building Trades’ legislative advocates, the bill provides that the contractors on the projects would be subject to prequalification standards, subject to prevailing wage laws and oversight, and would include a financial incentive to build the projects using project labor agreements.

According to the author, “This legislation will give local governments a modest tool to support sustainable economic development that creates good jobs, affordable housing and a healthy environment.”

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