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And while we’re tweaking things . . .

In their enthusiasm to pass the “historic water package” last November and create a Delta Stewardship Council to put things right in the Delta, lawmakers neglected to address the matter of paying for the Council. To correct this oversight, Assemblymember Huffman presented AB 2092, a long-term financing plan for the DSC, to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. AB 2092 requires the DSC to develop a financing plan based on the “beneficiary pays” principle. This will involve defining private and public benefits, as well as identifying both benefits and negative impacts of any action. A variety of financing strategies will be necessary. Huffman emphasized that any new fees would be subject to legislative approval. Both supporters and opponents focused [...]

“Lipstick on a pig”

That was Senator Lois Wolk’s description of AB 2775, a bill that would amend the water bond to remove language that would allow nongovernmental partners to be part of joint powers authorities formed to own and manage dams. Assemblymember Jared Huffman and Senator Dave Cogdill, who never agree about anything with respect to water, coauthored this bill focusing on a “narrow point of consensus,” a “surgical change” (to quote Huffman). Huffman presented it to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 22. It has an urgency clause. Why the urgency? In a deeply flawed water bond, the joint powers provision is one of the deepest flaws. Organizations opposing the water bond have noted that this provision would open [...]

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