SACRAMENTO — The Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday approved a bill to give the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, now scheduled to go out of business in July, 1990, a new lease on life.
The measure, by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles), would extend the life of the agency to Dec. 31, 1995. Without discussion, the committee approved the bill on a 9-0 vote and sent it to the Appropriations Committee.
Rosenthal said he was "a little surprised" that the bill sailed through the committee without opposition because critics in past years have questioned the need for the conservancy. He suggested that the conservancy is now accepted by lawmakers as a "motherhood" issue, one that is difficult to oppose.
"I think that the environment and open space concepts have taken on greater importance in people's minds," Rosenthal said.
Supporters saw the unopposed vote as a hopeful sign for eventual passage of the bill.
Since the conservancy was established in 1979, it has purchased or helped pay for the acquisition of about 10,000 acres of open space and parkland at a cost of about $38 million, according to Joseph T. Edmiston, its executive director.