Sunday’s top of the scroll: A look at what California’s state and federal legislators are saying about the Central Valley’s water woes

Posted by: Aqua Blog Maven on June 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

Here’s a roundup of what California’s state and federal legislators are saying this week about California water issues:

After the house narrowly defeated an ammendment that would have denied funding for implementation of the biological opinion, Congressman Radanovich issued the following statement:

“I commend my colleague, Mr. Nunes, for his amendment to mitigate the impact of California’s man-made drought. It is absolutely deplorable that the Democrats in Congress continue to vote more and more people of the San Joaquin Valley into homeless shelters and out of work. Our government is failing at its basic, core responsibilities to protect the rights of the citizens. Onerous environmental regulations are killing the agriculture industry in California, and the Democrat majority is not only content with this outcome, but is actually perpetuating the problem.”

Congressman Jim Costa issued this statement:

“I’m fighting for farmers, farm workers, and our Valley. The National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion released earlier this month is flawed, and will continue to hurt our Valley’s farmers and farm workers,” said Costa. “Overall, the biological opinion left out the numerous other stressors affecting the health of the Delta. Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) offered a bipartisan amendment, with support from Congressman Cardoza’s and me, to the CJS Appropriations bill which would have forbid funds in the bill to implement the biological opinion. I supported the amendment, but a much larger effort is needed to solve our water problems.”

He added:

“In my view, if left unchanged, this biological opinion’s impact to water availability this Fall and next year in our Valley and Southern California is significantly underestimated,” concluded Costa.

You can read Congressman Costa’s statement as prepared for delivery to the committee by clicking here.

Congressman Nunes introduced the amendment, and after it’s failure to pass, declared my constituents are not enemies of the state.

Apparently, no statement issued by Congressman Miller.

Other legislators are working for relief for the valley. Senator Feinstein is working to get more help to Valley food banks:

[Issued Wed June 17] U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) yesterday urged the Obama Administration to take action to respond to urgent shortages at food banks in California. Food banks in the State’s prime agricultural areas are facing overwhelming demand for assistance, largely due to the prolonged drought and record unemployment. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Senator Feinstein urged the Department to use its existing authority to provide additional resources to the State, nonprofits, food banks, and others in order to meet the extraordinary demand for food assistance.

You can read the text of Feinstein’s letter by clicking here.

Congressman Cardoza is working for more economic aid for the valley’s devastated economy:

On Friday, the Financial Services Committee heard testimony from Congressman Cardoza, as well as Los Banos Mayor Tommy Jones, about the cumulative impact of record-high foreclosure and unemployment rates, drought, and crashing dairy prices. Following the testimony, several members of the committee acknowledged the extreme difficulties faced by San Joaquin Valley residents. Chairman Frank expressed his commitment to working with Congressman Cardoza to find a means of directing funding to the region. “We are going to make a serious effort to do this,” Chairman Frank announced.

Read more from Congressman Cardoza’s website by clicking here.


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