AEP Legislative Update May 2024

May 2024

Budget Update

The Legislature continues to prioritize policies related to housing and homelessness, climate, and creative solutions to permitting challenges and fees. However, a great deal of focus has been on the budget, and how the ongoing deficit will impact key policies. On May 12, the Governor released his proposed budget, projecting a $31.5 billion shortfall, up from his January estimate of $22.5 billion. 

The May Revision proposed resolving the shortfall through a series of spending reductions, trigger cuts, delays or deferrals of spending that was previously authorized. For the most part, the May Revision protects state reserves and rejects raising revenues through tax measures. Unfortunately, there are a number of cuts from climate and housing programs, as well as climate adaptation and resilience efforts. 

Several cuts have been made to climate adaptation and resilience programs, including $5 million of the $25 million initially educated to Climate Adaptation and Resilience Planning Grants, $75 million for the $100 million for Regional Climate Resilience Program, and $9.8 million of the initial $20 million for the Regional Climate Collaboratives Program. Additionally, $300 million of the $600 million in Regional Early Action Planning Grants, REAP 2.0, has been cut, leading to concerns about the program intended to benefit infill housing and reduce vehicle miles traveled. 

AEP continues to monitor budget conversations. The Budget must pass by June 15, though trailer bills will likely pass through the end of Session. 

Legislative Update 

The Legislature continues its work on key policies and legislation. May 24 marked the House of Origin deadline. Now bills will go through the policy and fiscal committee process again in their second house. While fiscal bills have until July 3 to pass out of policy committees, non-fiscal bills have until August 16 to be heard and passed out of committee. All bills must pass out of both houses by August 31 to go to the Governor's desk.  

AEP continues to monitor bills related to CEQA, permitting, housing and more. Below is a summarized list of key bills that we are tracking, including those that we engaged on during our annual AEP Lobby Day. 

CEQA Streamlining

  • AB 2199 by Assemblymember Berman would delete the sunset clause on the CEQA exemption for infill residential or mixed-use housing. The bill passed out of the Assembly and is awaiting referral to policy committee in the Senate. AEP is supporting the bill.
  • AB 2940 by Assemblymember Muratsuchi would make transmission projects for renewable energy generation environmental leadership development projects for the purposes of the Jobs and Economic Improvement through Environmental Leadership Act subject to expedited judicial review for any CEQA challenges. The bill was referred to Natural Resources and Judiciary but has not been set for a hearing, and is stalled for the year.
  • SB 1234 by Senator Allen would create a CEQA exemption for local entities to implement changes to their local coastal program land use plan that are recommended by the Coastal Commission. The bill has passed from the Senate and is now headed to policy committee in the Assembly.


  • AB 1835 by Assemblymember Muratsuchi would make housing on property owned by a local education agency an allowable use for purposes of permitting or other local approvals. The bill stalled in the Committee on Housing and Community Development.
  • AB 2085 by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan was amended on April 9 to make community clinics a permitted use in areas zoned where office, retail, health care, or parking are a permitted use and also grant community clinics a CEQA exemption by subjecting them to ministerial approval. The bill passed out of the Assembly and is awaiting referral to policy committee in the Senate.


  • AB 2433 by Assemblymember Quirk-Silva is the California Private Permitting Review and Inspection Act, which would require a building department of the county or city to prepare a schedule of their fees and post the schedule on the county or city's internet website. The bill passed out of the Senate and is awaiting referral to policy committee in the Assembly.


  • AB 2553 by Assemblymember Friedman would revise the definition of "major transit stop" to increase the frequency of service interval to 20 minutes. Amendments removed the additional definition of "major transit stop." The bill passed out of the Assembly and is referred to Senate Committees on Local Government and Housing. AEP is supporting the bill.
  • SB 768 by Senator Caballero would require the California Air and Resources Board (CARB), in consultation with other private and public entities, to conduct a study for the Legislature on the use of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs) as a metric for transportation impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by January 1, 2026. The bill was referred to Assembly Natural Resources. AEP has recommended amendments to the bill to clarify a few of its terms.