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Monday, August 10, 2009

Hayashi's Green Building Bill signed by Governor

BILL TOUTED AS 'GREEN' INCLUDES ALL TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION
California cities can now build green to their hearts content because of a bill authored by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi's signed into law Thursday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The bill, AB 210, allows for stricter building codes than currently set by State's Building Code. According to a statement from Hayashi's office, many cities are unable to enact green building designs due to the requirements.

While the bill is highlighted as a progressive advance in green building, it makes no distinction between environmentally-conscience construction and conventional building outlined by the state. "This bill would specify that the requirements and regulations that a city or county is authorized to change or modify includes, but is not limited to, green building standards," according to the language of the legislation.

While the bill may remove oversight away from the state to communities and developers, it also comes at a time when the state's unemployment hovers over 11 percent and a stagnant, but slowly reemerging housing market seems poised to reignite. The state may also benefit from the allotment of Federal stimulus money earmarked for what the Administration believes is a resurgent economy based upon green jobs and technology.

“AB 210 goes one step further by giving cities and counties the legal authority to surpass the state’s standards in the fight against global greenhouse gases," Hayashi said in a statement. "State law should set the minimum criteria for buildings but not limit a municipality from becoming the greenest city in the world.” (Click here to listen to Hayashi speak in January about the the future of green technology and jobs.)

The bill sailed through the Legislature without much opposition and was one of 128 bills signed by Schwarzenegger.

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