Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

March 29, 2013
Northern California House members slam Delta plan

LS SAVE DELTA 2.JPGSoon after Gov. Jerry Brown this week unveiled more details of his draft plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, members of Congress from Northern California reacted no differently than they had earlier this month when the first part of it became public - they threw cold water on it.

The lawmakers called Brown's $23 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan "flawed," "rushed," "reckless" and "expensive."

They questioned the science behind the proposal, as well as its environmental impact. But the lawmakers' core concern appeared to be that the plan diverts too much water from the Delta through twin 35-mile tunnels to supply Central and Southern California.

"To solve California's water situation, we must find an approach that doesn't take the problems of one half of the state and lay them at the feet of the other half," said. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

"This is simply an expensive plumbing system that doesn't add a single drop to the state's water supply," said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.

"Moving forward could cause permanent harm to wildlife and devastate farmers, fishers and small business owners who depend on the Delta for their livelihoods," said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa.

"Continuing with this plan, without getting input from all stakeholders, without considering other alternatives, and without specifying how the project will be paid for is a bad idea," said Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.

In contrast, the Southern California Water Committee, which represents businesses, agricultural interests and water districts from roughly Bakersfield south, have praised the plan.

"Businesses, farmers, local elected leaders and public water agencies are all stepping up to support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan," said Charles Wilson, the committee's chairman, earlier this month.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Lewis of Clarksburg, sits on the west steps of the State Capitol during a July 2012 rally to oppose the governor's proposal to build water conveyance tunnels through the delta. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

March 29, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Bay Bridge chickens come home to roost

A report finding structural issues in the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge affirms warnings that the Brown administration tried to squelch, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

March 29, 2013
AM Alert: California agencies debate big infrastructure projects

HighSpeedRailsigning.jpgThe California High-Speed Rail Authority is convening in Sacramento today to weigh issuing up to $810 million in bonds for projects linking the speedy new trains to existing local and regional rail. Starting at 9 a.m. at the Sacramento City Hall Council Chambers.

The sprawling rail project has run into criticism about financing. Earlier this week, the High-Speed Rail Authority tried to forestall legal battles by suing everyone.

Water plan: Today is the second of a two-day meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, an oversight agency that was birthed by the 2009 Delta Reform Act. The council doesn't wield too much clout when it comes to shaping a massive planned water project for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta -- it mostly has an advisory role -- and at today's meeting officials will be outlining plans for environmental impact reports. The meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J St.

VIDEO: A state auditor report finding issues with the new Bay Bridge project vindicates The Bee, which reported on weaknesses in the bridge construction plan despite official pushback, Dan Walters notes.

Human trafficking: Looking ahead to the weekend, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, is going to be hosting an event about human trafficking in California (there are several bills before the Legislature that deal with the issue, including AB 156, AB 694 and AB 795). The event starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Natomas Unified School District's education center, 1901 Arena Blvd.

Celebrations: Happy birthday to Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who is 44 years old today.

And a preemptive happy birthday to Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who will turn 61 on Sunday.

Also, an anticipatory happy Cesar Chavez Day! The actual holiday falls on Sunday, but the state of California -- and the agencies that will be closed -- observes it next Monday, April 1.

PHOTO CREDIT: California Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation authorizing initial construction of California's $68 billion high-speed rail line. By Marcio Jose Sanchez for AP Photo on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.



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Capitol Alert Staff


Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. achance@sacbee.com. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. ccadelago@sacbee.com. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. lrosenhall@sacbee.com. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. dwalters@sacbee.com. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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