Is a solution on the horizon for California's drought?
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/15/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
California state lawmakers have voted to place a $7.5 billion water plan before voters in November.
Governor Jerry Brown helped unify Republicans and Democrats to create a measure aimed at fighting California's historic drought.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Driven by California's devastating multi-year drought which has cost the state economy $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other damages, the lawmakers were able to end almost a year of political wrangling to make a measure that will see the largest investment in state water infrastructure in decades, and is designed to build reservoirs, clean up contaminated groundwater and promote water-saving technologies.
This measure will replace an existing water bond that was approved previously, but was widely considered too costly and bloated to win over voters in November.
Democrats and Republicans fought over what projects to include; Republicans argued for more funding for reservoirs, while Democrats argued that damming rivers and flooding canyons to build them was to damaging to the environment.
It was a last-minute intervention by Governor Jerry Brown which brought the two sides together. The ballot measured sailed through both legislative houses, 77-2 in the Assembly and 37-0 in the Senate. Republican Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks and Democrat Wesley Chesbro of Arcata cast the Assembly's two dissenting votes.
After signing the legislation, AB1471, Brown said he had never seen Democrats and Republicans so united in his lifetime.
"With this water bond, legislators from both parties have affirmed their faith in California's future," Brown said.
This measure included $2.7 billion for new storage, including facilities in the Central Valley; $900 million in groundwater cleanup investments in the San Gabriel Valley; over $250 million in drinking and waste-water treatment projects and statewide investments to tackle drought and climate change. Almost immediately, numerous agricultural, environmental and business groups endorsed the legislative compromise.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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