On February 17, 2023, Senate Bill 794 by Sen. Roger Niello (R-Sacramento) was introduced regarding California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation. SB 794 would add Public Resources Code Sections 21168.8 and 21175.
Section 1 of the bill would add Public Resources Code Section 21168.8 to first define the term “project.” Second, an action or proceeding filed in order to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul acts or decisions of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA are required to be resolved within 365 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings. In addition, the Judicial Council is required to adopt a rule of court to establish procedures to implement this section.
Section 2 of the bill would add Public Resources Code Section 21175 to provide that, in a action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any act or decision of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA, the plaintiff or petitioner is required to include an affidavit identifying every person or entity who made or committed to make a monetary or in-kind contribution of $100 or more to the preparation of the petition and subsequent action or proceeding. In addition, this is a continuing obligation to disclosure throughout the proceeding.
SB 794 would also require these disclosures to include the identity of any pecuniary or economic interest of the person or entity related to the proposed project. A court is allowed to take any action that is necessary to compel compliance with the requirements of this section, up to and including dismissal of the action or proceeding.
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