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Increased Funding Will Create Jobs and Protect State from Future Droughts

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, announced today that he is proposing amendments to Assembly Bill (AB) 1331the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014—to increase funding for above and below ground water storage from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. The Assemblymember was joined by Central California lawmakers and industry trade groups who support the proposal.

“After holding hearings across the state, it’s clear that Californians want more storage in order to meet the growing water needs of our state,” said Assemblymember Rendon.  “This increase in water storage funding will help protect California from future droughts and provide tens of thousands of new jobs at the same time.”

California lawmakers have long worked to upgrade the state’s water infrastructure through the development of a water bond proposal to place before voters. In 2009, the Legislature passed an $11.4 billion bond proposal that has been delayed over concerns that voters would not support it.

This year, the Assembly took an entirely different approach to developing a water bond. The new process included convening 14 public hearings, organizing six legislator briefings on water policy and funding, establishing a set of principles to set spending priorities and increase accountability, convening three rounds of public comments, publishing the Water Bond Framework and posting summaries of public comments on the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee website. Assembly Bill 1331 is the culmination of these efforts and continues to be revised to meet California’s diverse needs.

“This proposal is the result of extensive public testimony as well as conversations with state water experts and stakeholders on ways to address the state’s growing water concerns,” said Assemblymember Rendon. “My colleagues in the Legislature and I will continue to work to ensure the water bond provides fair and responsible allocations of funds to meet the needs of all state residents.”

The water bond proposes the following allocations:

  • Drinking Water Quality ($1 billion)
  • Protecting Rivers and Watersheds ($1.5 billion)
  • Regional Climate Change Response Projects – integrated regional water management ($2 billion)
  • Protecting the Delta ($1 billion)
  • Water Storage for Climate Change ($2.5 billion)

Assembly Bill 1331 is set to be heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on March 25, 2014.

Below are links to audio of Assemblymembers Rendon:

Remarks from Assemblymember Rendon at today’s Water Bond news conference. (3:00)
mp3

Assemblymember Rendon says AB 1331 is a product of numerous hearings and conversations throughout the state.   (:35)
mp3

Assemblymember Rendon says the water bond funds will be available for underground and above ground storage projects. (:14)
mp3