FRESNO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez met with Central Valley leaders Friday to discuss immediate drought-relief measures as well as the need for a comprehensive solution to California’s complex water needs.
"California’s water crisis is among the worst in over century, and no place in our state is feeling the effects of the drought as severely as the Central Valley,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles).
Speaker Pérez met with water agencies including Friant and Westlands, as well as a variety of business and labor leaders.
The Legislature recently passed a $687-million drought-relief package, which includes $472 million for integrated regional water management. The legislation specifically directed $27 million for the San Joaquin Region, as well as $16 million for the Tulare/Kern region, along with rental, housing, food, and retraining assistance for displaced workers.
"The legislation we passed will help mitigate the worst of the effects of the drought,” said Speaker Pérez, "but it is vital that every Californian does their part to conserve water while we plan for a water bond that genuinely meets the long-term needs of California.”
The Speaker and Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) also expressed their determination to put a multibillion-dollar water bond before voters this year.
Harvey Bailey, a Central Valley farmer who chairs the Friant Water Authority, said he appreciated the Speaker’s personal attention to Central Valley needs.
"We were extremely pleased to have Assembly Speaker John Pérez visit and listen to our concerns regarding the serious drought impacts to the Friant Division farmers and cities along with potential assistance by the legislature including for additional above ground water storage in the Water Bond," said Bailey.
"I am pleased Speaker Pérez came to Fresno to discuss the severe impacts the drought has had on the Central Valley,” said Assemblymember Perea. "I look forward to working on a reliable plan for California’s water future that includes adequate funding for surface storage.”
CONTACT: (Pérez) John Vigna (916) 319-2408, (Perea) Alicia Isaacs (916) 319-2031