Former California Assemblyman Thomas Hannigan, a respected Solano County leader who spent decades in office, died Tuesday. … After leaving office in 1996, Hannigan was appointed by then-Gov. Gray Davis to serve as director of the California Department of Water Resources until his retirement in 2003.
Congress has approved a sprawling bill to improve the nation’s ports, dams and harbors, protect against floods, restore shorelines and support other water-related projects. If signed by President Donald Trump, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 would authorize more than $6 billion in spending over 10 years for projects nationwide, including one to stem coastal erosion in Galveston, Texas, and restore wetlands damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year.
Now that the existing federal farm bill has expired, what does that mean for farmers, ranchers, marketers and consumers? The short answer: It depends on the funding status for each program included in the bill. A House-Senate conference committee assigned to reconcile differences between the two versions of a new farm bill wasn’t able to reach agreement before the current bill expired Sept. 30. That means close to 40 programs are left without funding until Congress passes a new bill.
Updated renewable-energy mandates from the state of California will likely affect energy rates for farmers and ranchers–and add impetus to researchers’ studies of further renewable-energy use in agriculture. Senate Bill 100, signed into law last month, requires that 60 percent of the electricity generated in California come from eligible renewable sources by 2030, and sets 2045 as the target year for all-renewable or zero-carbon power generation.
The legislative session that just wrapped up addressed a number of water and forest management issues. Progress was made in three major areas—urban drought management, forest health, and safe drinking water.
Just after lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke from the White House’s East Room to a typical gathering of Washington, D.C.’s elites, a large cast of white men joined by First Lady Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson. Johnson announced that he had signed four bills: the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the National Trails System Act, and the legislation creating both Redwood National Park in California and North Cascades National Park in Washington State.
A law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will expand California’s requirement to test water in schools for lead to day care centers and pre-schools that serve nearly 600,000 children. The law marks the first time California’s day care centers have been required to test for lead in water. Only two other states require both K-12 schools and day care centers to do such testing.
The Senate has passed legislation that would provide $1.7 billion to help residents of the Carolinas and elsewhere recover from recent natural disasters. … The bill also makes changes to Federal Emergency Management Agency programs that would allow more disaster aid to be used on projects that reduce the damage from future storms, such as rebuilding levees and buying out landowners in flood plains.
A popular program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country expired after Congress could not agree on language to extend it. Lawmakers from both parties back the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but the program lapsed Monday amid dispute over whether its renewal should be part of a broader package of land-use and parks bills.
Fifty years ago, the tide was turning in the war in Vietnam, the civil rights movement was in full swing, and the cold war was raging—but American industry was booming. The United States Congress and the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, however, recognized the danger that industry and development posed, particularly to America’s rivers. Responding to that threat, President Johnson signed the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act (“the Act”) into law on October 2, 1968.
This November, California voters will almost certainly vote on whether to authorize billions of dollars of taxpayer spending for a water bond. But crucially, the next few weeks will determine what water bond will be on the ballot in November – how much borrowing it authorizes, what it spends that money on – and whether it is a good investment in California’s water future.
A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, July 21, clears the way for two water districts to extend their systems to a neighborhood on the Wildomar-Menifee border that has been plagued by a poor quality, unreliable water supply.
In signing this year’s budget, Gov. Jerry Brown dedicated $832 million from California’s burgeoning cap-and-trade program to affordable housing and mass transit, including his embattled high-speed rail project. Also tucked into the legislation are directions to set aside agricultural land on the periphery of cities.
If Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers want voters to weigh in this year on a multibillion-dollar water bond – a big if – they will need to compromise on what may seem like an arcane point: Who controls the money earmarked for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?
From the Los Angeles Times, in the Capitol Journal column by George Skelton:
So let me get this straight: The state government is telling us we can’t hose down the driveway and should feel guilty about watering the lawn. But it’s OK for somebody to pump all the groundwater he wants?
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Jon Healey:
As much as Republicans might yearn for deep-blue California to fall into the deep blue ocean, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee agreed this week to provide $5 million to support the development of an earthquake early warning system that could help reduce the injuries and damage caused by a big quake.