Gov. Jerry Brown lashed out Monday against a water bill moving quickly through the Republican-controlled House, calling it "an unwelcome and divisive intrusion" into California's effort to manage the state's drought.
In a letter to the ranking members of the House Natural Resources Committee, the Democratic governor amplified opposition already registered by his administration to the bill, which has pitted irrigation interests in the Valley against environmental concerns.
"H.R. 3964 is an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis," Brown wrote. "It would override state laws and protections, and mandate that certain water interests come out ahead of others. It falsely suggests the promise of water relief when that is simply not possible given the scarcity of water supplies."
Brown said the bill would also "re-open old water wounds undermining years of progress toward reaching a collaborative long-term solution to our water needs."
Republicans have said the bill, which would undo a San Joaquin River restoration program, would improve water access for Valley farms.
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the media at Fresno City Hall on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. The Fresno Bee/Eric Paul Zamora