Matthew Renda
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August 17, 2011
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Brown: 'Sharp differences' exist regarding SB 271

HOMEWOOD - No progress has been made regarding if California will consider stipulations set forth in a Nevada Senate bill that threatens the Silver State's withdrawal from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Jerry Brown said Tuesday.

The California governor - who made no mention of Nevada Senate Bill 271 during his formal remarks at the 15th annual Lake Tahoe Summit - said he and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval had recently established a working relationship and would be willing to collaborate on issues that affect Lake Tahoe in the future.

"We didn't agree to anything other than to improve the clarity of the lake," Brown said in an interview after the summit. "I think the main point is that we sat down for the first time, and there is a good spirit of good will, and I can't tell you how violent the disagreements are.

"I can tell you there are some sharp differences, and if you put legal frame work in the middle of those sharp differences, you could have endless disputes."

Sandoval - who did address SB 271 during his formal speech - acknowledged the legislation has created controversy, but said its most important element is the mandate for TRPA to have an updated regional plan by 2015.

"The regional plan sets the framework for environmental restoration while giving homeowners and the private sector some certainty," Sandoval said. "I believe (completion in a timely fashion) is achievable."

Tuesday's summit at Homewood Mountain Resort marked the first time since its inaugural run in 1997 that the governors of Nevada and California attended.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said it may be "very difficult" for the amendments Nevada demands in SB 271 to be made to TRPA's compact "because it has to be approved by both states and the Congress."

"The first step is passage of the regional plan," she said. "We want to carry that out."

Brown said he agreed with Sandoval regarding the urgent need to address environmental issues at Lake Tahoe and was less concerned regarding the process involved in doing that.

"Instead of trying to work out some magic procedural bullet, I'd rather sit down with the governor and set up some immediate next steps that will advance the ball, and advance," he said.

Brown also commented on where he feels TRPA's procedural questions stand in relation to other issues ongoing in the state.

"To tell you the truth, we have so many big issues in California that TRPA is down the list," he told reporters after the summit. "Now that we've come to see how great the lake is, TRPA has moved up in my mind. But, we've got revenue problems, we've got school problems, we've got crime and realignment problems.

"But (Lake Tahoe) is a world treasure to say the least," he added. "It's a matter of making agreements because everyone just wants to preserve the lake."


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 17, 2011 01:48PM Published Aug 17, 2011 01:44PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.