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In Case You Missed It: Senator Harris Publicly Opposes Calvert’s Tunnels Litigation Ban Rider; SB 863’s Bad Governance; California’s “Third World Drinking Water Problem”

Today, Brentwood Press reporter Tony Kukulich broke news that Senator Harris has taken a public position against Congressman Calvert’s rider that seeks to exempt CA WaterFix from further judicial review. Kukulich reports,

“In an email to The Press on Tuesday, June 12, Tyrone Gayle, press secretary for Harris said, ‘Senator Harris is opposed to any efforts to subvert California’s rights and waive federal environmental laws through the elimination of judicial review. If this legislation advanced to the Senate, Senator Harris would want that provision stripped before its consideration.’”

Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parilla responded,

“Senator Harris and Senator Feinstein’s opposition to the Calvert rider, which would eliminate judicial review of California WaterFix, exemplifies their commitment to protecting the rule of law. We applaud their statements. And we thank them for protecting due process rights for Delta communities and the environment.”

Opinion Columnist for CALmatters Dan Walters recently discussed his view on the state’s most recent effort that weaken public officials responsibility to maintain transparent public process : Senate Bill 863. Walters called the bill a “double dose of sneakiness—combining in just 17 words, two separate efforts to block Californians from knowing what their elected officials are doing.”

Walters explains the bill further noting that the bill “continues the unseemly practice of misusing ‘budget trailer bills’ for purposes that are unrelated to the budget.”

In response to Senate Bill 863, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla commented,

“Why would legislators put forward a bill that would eliminate public disclosure of bonds by public districts with CA WaterFix looming in the horizon? This is bad governance.”

Finally, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board published an editorial that examines the irony of California’s booming global economy and its “Third World drinking water problem.” The board writes,
“Even in times of drought, California’s natural and human-made arteries run with the nation’s cleanest, most accessible water. So fundamental is the stuff to the state’s identity and to its residents’ daily lives that California law recognizes a human right to ‘safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.’

“Yet the taps in hundreds of communities produce only toxic brown fluid because years of environmental degradation have contaminated parts of the water table, and because extreme poverty has blocked residents and their leaders from upgrading their water infrastructure or from connecting to the systems of their neighbors. That means that many thousands of Californians can’t brush their teeth or take a shower, much less drink a glass of water from the tap, without risking sickness. It’s a Third World problem in the world’s fifth-largest economy.”


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