A joint hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality and Natural Resources and Water Committees heard presentations and comments this morning on two water bond proposals, including Senator Lois Wolk’s Senate Bill 42, The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality & Flood Protection Act of 2014.
Wolk’s SB 42 provides funding for projects that provide safe drinking water to those Californians that still do not have access to this basic service, improve water supply reliability while decreasing demand on California’s most stressed watershed, advance community supported ecosystem restoration, and levee improvements in the Delta.
“SB 42 is more realistic, responsible, and effective than the existing water bond,” said Wolk (D-Davis), who represents four of the five counties in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, during her presentation. “This bond focuses on broadly-supported projects that address the state’s most critical water needs. It has been developed transparently, has no earmarks, and maintains legislative oversight. This is a bond I believe my colleagues and voters can support.”
The hearing also included time for public comment on SB 42 and Assembly Bill 1311, the water bond proposal being carried by Assemblymember Anthony Rendon.
“SB 42 takes a fresh approach to investments in California’s water future, a multi-faceted approach to water management that includes investments in ecosystem restoration and protection, flood control, and clean drinking water projects for the most vulnerable communities in the state,” said Jay Ziegler with The Nature Conservancy. “It is clear that an alternative bond must be crafted to replace the existing proposal, and we believe that SB 42 addresses head-on several issues critical to a successful bond, including strong assurances that bond funds will only be used to deliver public benefits. We also think SB 42 takes the important step of including local, Delta partnership.”
“SB 42 is significant, yet more affordable than the water bond proposal authorized by the Legislature in 2012,” said Duane Chamberlain, Chairman of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. “The Board believes this water bond proposal appropriately addresses the significant water quality, watershed protection, flood control, stormwater management and water storage needs of our state.”