Legislation Approved to Aid New Kings Arena

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Assembly has approved legislation intended to smooth the way for a new NBA arena in California's capital.

The bill from Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento would accelerate judicial review of any lawsuits filed against the proposed Kings arena under California's landmark environmental law.

Several Republicans expressed frustrations at singling out a particular project for legal exemptions. Assemblyman Brian Nestande of Palm Desert said lawmakers should instead work on making it easier for all projects to comply with environmental rules.

SB743 was expanded late Wednesday to include portions of a broader bill Steinberg had proposed to overhaul the environmental law. The changes would help some urban projects throughout the state.

The measure cleared the Assembly Thursday, 55-6, returning it to the Senate for a final vote.