AFTERNOON UPDATE … Joint Legislative Budget Committee hearing: the battle wages on …

Tomorrow at 10am, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee is scheduled to hold an informational hearing on the State Water Project contract extension.  The hearing has been scheduled twice – and postponed twice – as a result of Restore the Delta’s intense social media campaign and their ability to organize their constituents to get on the phone and call their legislators.  (Click here for previous article on the Notebook.)

The battle wages on today.  Here are the latest volleys:

Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of the State Water Contractors, penned a commentary, “The State Water Project: Our most important infrastructure”:

“Ask me what tops the list of California’s most critical infrastructure, and I’ll tell you it’s the State Water Project. It’s hard to argue with the fact that water is a prerequisite for all life and a healthy economy.

That’s why financing the operation and maintenance of the State Water Project in a responsible, cost-effective manner should be common sense — not a political volley that puts California’s lifeline at risk and threatens ratepayers with a surge in water rates that is easily avoidable. … ”

Click here to read her commentary at Capitol Weekly.

The Sacramento Bee has posted the editorial, “If this meeting isn’t about financing Delta tunnels, then put it in writing”:

Clearly, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to cement the Delta tunnels as part of his legacy before leaving office.

But his administration shouldn’t try to shove through this monumental, $20 billion project without adequate review and debate.

Critics say that’s precisely what is happening at a hearing Tuesday of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. They say that a proposal to extend long-term contracts for the State Water Project for another 50 years will pave the way to financing the tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Click here to read this editorial at the Sacramento Bee.

The Southern California Water Coalition continues to gather signatures to their letter in support of the hearing …

” … In the absence of a timely contract extension, we put California’s water supply in jeopardy and create “financial compression” that causes water rates statewide to surge. Think about “financial compression” in terms of financing a mortgage. If a homeowner has a 15-year mortgage, they pay less in interest over time but their monthly payments are much higher than if they were to finance a 30-year mortgage. The contract extension is equivalent to changing from a 15-year to 30-year mortgage for ratepayers only it will continue to decrease as 2035 draws near. … ”

Click here to read the letter.

Will the Joint Legislative Budget Committee hearing go on as scheduled?  Or will Restore the Delta succeed yet again in getting the hearing postponed?

Stay tuned, folks, I’ll let you know …

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