The Latest: Governor plans to veto environmental rules bill

September 15, 2019 Off By The Wall of Law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on a bill by Democratic lawmakers that aims to stop the Trump administration from weakening environmental laws. (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will veto a bill by Democratic lawmakers that aims to stop the Trump administration from weakening environmental laws.

The Democratic governor’s announcement Saturday comes just hours after lawmakers passed the bill on the final day of the legislative session. It puts him in conflict with state Senate leader Toni Atkins, a fellow Democrat and the bill’s author.

Newsom says he supports the idea of fighting Trump’s environmental rollbacks.

But he says the bill won’t give the state “any new authority” to push back against the administration. And he says the bill would keep the state from relying on the “best available science.” His office says it could force the state to rely on Endangered Species Act opinions written roughly a decade ago.

Atkins said she’s “strongly disappointed” by Newsom’s decision. She says the bill allowed state agencies to make decisions using the best available science.


2:04 a.m.

For decades, California and the federal government have had a co-parenting agreement when it comes to the state’s diverse population of endangered species and the scarce water that keeps them alive.

Now, it appears the sides could be headed for a divorce.

State lawmakers sent to the governor early Saturday morning a bill aimed at stopping the Trump administration from weakening oversight of longstanding federal environmental laws in California. The lawmakers want to make it easier for state regulators to issue emergency regulations when that happens.

“The feds are taking away significant pieces of water protection law, of air protection law, and California has to step into the void,” Democratic Assemblyman Mark Stone said.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has 30 days to decide whether to veto the bill, sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature.

The bill survived a furious lobbying effort on the Legislature’s final day, withstanding opposition from the state’s water contractors and Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The Associated Press

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