Steinberg announced in a statement that he was nominating Hill to chair the Committee on Environmental Quality. It will be an influential post as the Legislature weighs overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act.
"[Hill] is well-positioned to appreciate the complexities of this challenge, and well-versed in the false dichotomy that pitches business against the environment," Steinberg said in a statement. "California has led, and will continue to lead the nation in smart, environmentally sustainable economic growth."
Critics, including Gov. Jerry Brown, have said CEQA is in need of reform, saying cumbersome environmental requirements unnecessarily stall development. Environmental groups have begun mobilizing to protect the law. Rubio was expected to be a leader in the process until his abrupt resignation two weeks ago.
The Senate Rules Committee, which Steinberg chairs, is expected to confirm the appointment on Thursday.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Sen. Jerry Hill's office. .