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SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that changing the California Environmental Quality Act is "the Lord's work," but he was noncommittal about the proposal currently percolating at the Capitol.

"To tell you the truth, I have not read it," Brown told reporters in San Francisco, where the Democratic governor was campaigning for his November ballot measure to raise taxes.

"In fact, it's not even clear we've got a final draft yet," he added. "But, look, CEQA reform is the Lord's work. Whether this is the perfect vehicle, I'll be in a better position after I've read it."

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and other business interests on Monday aired a proposal to dramatically limit the reach of the state's signature environmental protection. The group is being advised by Brown's top political adviser, Steve Glazer, and its proposal resembled draft bill language that would exempt from CEQA certain projects that complies with a city general plan or other planning document for which an environmental review already has been done.

More than 30 Democratic lawmakers signed a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez on Tuesday objecting to the proposal, and environmentalists were lobbying against it.

A bill is expected to come up in the Assembly before the end of the legislative session next week. Brown has previously been critical of CEQA, and he signed three bills last year limiting the law.



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