“When it comes to water, there’s bad news flowing for the state
and its farmers, water agencies, customers, environmentalists,
home owners, towns, landscapers — you name it — as California
faces a third consecutive dry year.
“But even as the rain clouds appear sparse, there may be a
silver lining for the backers of a major ballot measure:
Experts say the grim outlook could spur voters to approve a
multibillion-dollar bond facing voters in November 2014.
“Sen. Barbara Boxer’s longtime relationship with
environmentalists has been strained by compromises she’s made
in the committee she leads to get major pieces of public works
legislation through a divided Senate.
“The California Democrat has worked closely this year with
Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee on a bill to advance U.S.
From The Sacramento Bee, in the Dan Walters column:
“Seemingly, devising a replacement for redevelopment and
overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act are two
discrete legislative issues.
“They are, however, intertwined in that both were legislative
agenda items that didn’t bear fruit in 2013 and thus will be
back in 2014, and that both potentially will impact how
California evolves economically as it emerges from the worst
recession since the Great Depression.”
“The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife is holding
a hearing on a proposed $6.5 billion water bond at the Shasta
County Board of Supervisors chambers on Wednesday.
“Tina Cannon Leahy, principal consultant for the committee,
said the committee is holding four hearings around the state in
Indio, Seaside, Eureka and Redding to hear from residents and
local official about area water issues.”
“This session of Congress is the first since World II that has
failed to protect a single new acre of public land. Not a
“This year, however, some locally supported bills are starting
to get some action and a push from the Obama administration, a
sign of progress. 2014 may be a time to catch up on a public
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“Five members of California’s congressional delegation have
been named to the conference committees that soon will meet to
try to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions of
the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).
“Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will chair the Senate conference,
and Reps. John Garamendi (D-03), Janice Hahn (D-44), Duncan D.
“Fresh off the government shutdown fight, Congress is getting
back to business. That’s not all good: The House is set to
consider Wednesday a water bill that many taxpayer advocates say
keeps a wasteful system without the fundamental reform it needs.”
“Congress had good intentions when it passed legislation in July
2012 to reduce federal liabilities for subsidized flood
insurance. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, passed
by a 373-52 vote, was aimed at shrinking the $20 billion in debt
the federal government assumed after Hurricane Katrina devastated
New Orleans in 2005.”
“Since returning to the governor’s office in January 2011,
Jerry Brown has talked about state regulations — a lot. A Nexis
database search shows more than 3,000 newspaper stories dealing
with Brown and regulations since then. …
“A frequent target is the California Environmental Quality Act,
which Brown depicts as the main hurdle he faced when trying to
revitalize Oakland while serving as the city’s mayor.”
From the Orange County Register Washington Bureau:
“The House is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on a water
infrastructure bill that would modify environmental regulations
in an effort to speed along building projects related to ports,
locks and flood control.
“It is the first major bill to be taken up by Congress since
“The first big test of whether Congress can function,
post-shutdown, could come today or Thursday, when the House is
expected to take up the Water Resources Reform and Development
Act of 2013. The bill has bipartisan support and the House should
approve it, having not passed an omnibus bill to authorize water
and flood control projects since 2007.”