It was touch and go there for a while, but on the last day of official bill signing, according to this Sacramento Bee report, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the nation’s first bill to take a comprehensive whack at sprawl. The bill’s main mechanism is links the transportation funding the California doles out with state climate policies. It establishes incentives for more compact housing developments. And it also requires individual regions of the state to set greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2010.

Not everyone was wildly in favor of the legislation. Some local governments opposed it because of concerns over losing transportation funding; some businesses had their hackles raised over the extra regulation. Considering the number of miles Californians drive, and the expected increase in the state’s population, environmentalists hope the legislation will keep greenhouse gas emissions from worsening.

Kentucky may not have the population numbers California does, but we and our neighboring states do face questions over how we’ll handle sprawl in the future. California’s law could hold some interesting answers.