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    Gov. Davis Vetoes AB 2333 That Would Have Required So. Cal. Ass'n of Gov'ts to Provide For "Fair Share" Distribution of Aviation Burdens Throughout SCAG Region

    (Sept. 21, 2002) -- Governor Gray Davis has vetoed a closely watched bill that would have required the So. California Association of Governments (SCAG) to provide for a fair share distribution of the burdens of commercial aviation throughout the SCAG region (which includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial Counties).

    AB 2333 by southbay (i.e. LAX impacted) Assembly George Nakano passed with the support of LB area Assemblymembers Alan Lowenthal, Jenny Oropeza, Sally Havice and State Senator Betty Karnette. It was bitterly opposed by Orange County legislators.

    The bill originally sought to have SCAG allocate aviation burdens and benefits on a County by County basis, but that text stalled in the Committee in June, prompting its amendment to specify the multi-County SCAG region as a whole as the basis for distributing aviation burdens.

    The most potentially significant portion of the bill was its inclusion of Environmental Justice as a component in transportation planning.

    We post the Governor's veto message verbatim below.

    [begin text]

    To Members of the California State Assembly:

    I am returning Assembly Bill 2333 without my signature.

    This bill would require the Southern California Association of Governments to provide a fair share distribution of the burdens of commercial aviation when compiling the aviation component of its Regional Transportation Plan. The bill would also require the Association to adhere to the principles of environmental justice.

    I concur with the author that the potential adverse impacts of airport expansion require the consideration of regional strategies to decentralize aviation demand. This demand will likely be met by the expansion of existing commercial airports and the development of former military air bases. However, the term "fair share distribution" of commercial aviation burdens is not defined in this bill. As such, I am concerned the Associationís interpretation may be vulnerable to challenge by other regional participants.

    While this bill is intended to bring about a more balanced distribution of the expected increase in aviation traffic, it also ignores the will of many Orange County residents. On two occasions the voters have rejected a new international airport at the former El Toro Marine Base. In addition, this bill imposes additional requirements upon the Association, resulting in a state mandated local program at a time when we must avoid the costs of expanded initiatives.

    For these reasons I am unable to sign this legislation.


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