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Bills on new Warriors, Kings arenas await fate in California Legislature

  • FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2013, file photo, an artist's rendering provided by the Golden State Warriors shows the interior of their new proposed waterfront basketball arena in San Francisco. In the final days of this year's legislative session, lawmakers will be considering measures that would accelerate construction of the Warriors new waterfront arena and for a downtown facility for the Sacramento Kings. (AP Photo/Golden State Warriors, File)

SACRAMENTO — Two NBA teams in Northern California will be closely watching the final days of this year's legislative session, when state lawmakers will consider measures that would aid construction of new arenas for the franchises.

One proposal would assist the Golden State Warriors in their plan to move the team from Oakland to a possible waterfront arena in San Francisco, a move that has drawn the ire of East Bay lawmakers upset at jobs moving away.

The other measure is a last-minute proposal from the state Senate's top Democrat to make good on his promise to NBA officials that the Sacramento Kings will be able to build a new downtown arena with no unnecessary hassles involving California's tough environmental laws.

In both cases, the plans would still require approval from several government agencies. While the Warriors' plan has faced mostly regional concerns, critics have blasted the Kings arena bill as the latest in a pattern of special legislation aimed at jump-starting a particular project.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, disputes that assessment, telling reporters that aspects of his legislation would apply to projects beyond an arena for the Kings.

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