Building limit would be set by levee bill

first_imgSACRAMENTO – California would restrict building in areas in danger of flooding in the vulnerable Central Valley under a bill spurred by Hurricane Katrina and sent to the governor Friday. The Senate sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill limiting development until 2015 in areas of the Sacramento and San Joaquin river valleys without the kind of levees or other flood controls that can withstand the kind of flood that occurs once every 100 years. The delay would give communities time to improve levees, build flood bypasses and add other protection. After 2015, newly developed areas would have to have 200-year flood protection. Cities and counties would have until 2025 to provide 200-year flood protection for existing communities. Among other matters the Legislature took up: The Assembly sent the bill to the Senate for final approval on a vote of 42-32. CRIMINAL PENALTIES: The Assembly rejected legislation by Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, to create an independent commission to overhaul the state’s convoluted criminal code. Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said the bill would “bring some sense to the way we deal with our sentencing laws.” The 20-member commission would revise sentences, but the Legislature and governor could veto its recommendations. Critics complained that the commission could weaken sentencing laws that have traditionally been set by lawmakers. The Assembly rejected the bill on a 34-37 vote. It could be considered again next week.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GAY MARRIAGE: The Senate sent the governor a bill allowing gay marriages, a measure he is expected to veto. The bill would redefine marriage as “a civil contract between two persons,” but would retain the right of religious institutions to refuse to sanction the unions. CELEBRITY RIGHTS: Distant heirs of celebrities who died before 1985 could control their publicity rights under a bill the Senate sent to celebrity Schwarzenegger on Friday. The bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, was in response to recent court rulings that said California’s celebrity-rights law doesn’t apply to those who died before the law was adopted. WATER QUALITY: The number of people who serve on the state’s regional water quality boards would be cut from nine to seven under legislation adopted by the Assembly. Supporters said smaller boards are needed to address the systemic vacancies that often leave the nine regional boards without enough members to issue wastewater permits and enforce water-quality laws. Opponents said water-quality issues would be better tackled by an overhaul of California’s water-delivery system. last_img

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