Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation Tuesday to speed construction of Farmers Field football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, saying of California government, "There are too damn many regulations."
Brown praised the 68,000-seat stadium project as "a big idea" designed to get people working. SB292 by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) requires a streamlined review of environmental challenges.
Brown said, "nobody likes to protect the environment more than me," and said the law, along with a companion bill meant to speed construction of other large projects, does not pose a significant weakening of the California Environmental Quality Act.
The plan was approved in the closing days of the legislative session, despite criticism from environmental groups opposed to carving out exceptions to the state's environmental rules.
"This project is about more than pigskin, it's about jobs, putting people back to work," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The project is expected to generate about 23,000 jobs at a time that California's unemployment rate remains stuck above 12 percent.
Farmer's Field is being built by AEG, which also spearheaded construction of Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.