More On the Water Bond Vote…

We are still unpacking all that happened with the vote on AB 1265.  One item worth mentioning is that Assembly Member Jared Huffman not only voted to stop the delay of the water bond (against AB 1265) as we had requested, he worked quite hard trying to persuade colleagues to redo the water bond, rather than simply delaying it.  We thank him for his support.

Second,  while the funding for the water bond has been delayed, the programs associated with the bond have not been pushed back in time.  Consequently, Governor Schwarzenegger can now make appointments to the Water Commission that will remain in office until 2014.  Also, we are apprehensive that the Delta Stewardship Council  will move to take funding from previously approved bonds to go forward with the programs associated with this bond, rather than using the money as voters intended.

Our reason for such concern:  as blogger Patricia McBroom reports in her blog California Spigot, “Vitally needed strengthening of levees in the California delta has been stalled for over a year – in spite of the fact that bonds have been sold and projects approved.  The California Department of Finance has yet to release $120 million for upgrades on about 20 islands of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.” 

Restore the Delta is very interested in knowing why the Department of Finance has not released these important funds, especially if as the Department of Water Resources and the Public Policy Institute of California assert, the Delta and California’s water supply are simply one earth quake away from total ruin.  If the Delta is truly on the verge of a catastrophe, why the delay with releasing funds for levee repairs?  Could it be that neglecting levee repairs could help facilitate the type of Delta levee disaster that DWR and the PPIC have been predicting?  Are DWR and the Department of Finance colluding to create a Delta disaster?  Are they waiting to move the money to finance the Delta Stewardship Council’s work on the Delta Plan under the guise that more planning is the best way to protect Delta levees, rather than completing ongoing scheduled levee maintenance projects?

Click here to read Patricia’s story.

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