Multiple Agencies & Organizations Urge Governor to Sign AB 313 (Updating)

Joining Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, which previously submitted a letter to Governor Brown urging him to sign AB 313, multiple agencies have also sent the Governor letters of support. The bill introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) restores due process to water rights holders. AB 313 now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

This post is being updated as more agencies submit letters to the Governor.

A coalition of agricultural organizations

AB 313 (Gray) 2017_09-20 Water Rights_Ag Coalition SUPPORT GOVERNOR

 

Northern California Water Association

NCWA_GovernorAB313Sept2717

 

Yuba County Water Agency

AB 313 (Gray}-Support

 

Merced Irrigation District

AB 313 (AG) Support Letter MeID

 

San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Authority

Exchange Contractors Support of AB 313 - 9-20-17

 

Placer County Water Agency

PCWA Support AB 313 (2)

 

Western Canal Water District

WCWD_Gov.Brown.AB313.9.21.17

 

United Water Conservation District

United Water Conservation Dist. AB 313 Letter of Support

 

Central California Irrigation District

CCID AB 313

 

Cucamonga Valley Water District

CVWD AB 313 Request for Signature CVWD

 

Columbia Canal Company

CCC RevisedAssemblyBill313

 

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority

170922 - SLDMWA AB313 Support Letter to Governor - SUBMITTED

 

Patterson Irrigation District

PattersonID_2017-09-22 AB 313 Letter to Jerry Brown

 

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company

 

Steve Nicolaou, Local Attorney

Letter to Hon. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. dated 09-28-2017

BBID Urges Gov. Brown to Sign AB 313

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign landmark legislation restoring due process for the state’s water rights holders.

BBID prepared the following letter in support of Assembly Bill 313. Lawmakers decisively passed the bill on the final day of the Legislative session. Introduced by Adam Gray (D-Merced), AB 313 now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

BBID Sign AB 313 Support Letter

Turlock Journal: Water Rights Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

From the Turlock Journal:

A landmark passage of water rights legislation occurred over the weekend when Assemblyman Adam Gray’s Assembly Bill 313 received final approval on the last day of the legislative session – the next-to-final step toward becoming law for the bill, which requires that unbiased administrative law judges conduct water rights enforcement hearings, rather than the State Water Board.

Read more below.

Turlock Journal - Water Rights Bill Awaits Governor's Signature (9.19.17)

Modesto Bee: Law Would Bring Fairness to Water Board Disputes

On September 17th, The Modesto Bee penned an editorial calling on the public to urge Governor Brown to sign Assembly Bill 313, water rights reform legislation supported by Byron-Bethany Irrigation District.

The Bee says, “AB313 is all about one thing – fairness.”

AB 313 passed in the Senate on the final day of the Legislative session and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

9-17-17 - Law would bring fairness to water board disputes | The Modesto Bee

BBID-Backed Water Reform Bill Passes, Securing Key Victory for Water Rights Holders

Sacramento, CA (September 16th, 2017) – In a resounding victory for fairness and good governance, lawmakers decisively passed a major water reform bill on the final day of the Legislative session. Assembly Bill 313, introduced by Adam Gray (D-Merced) and backed by Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), makes critical changes to restore due process for the state’s water rights holders.

“We congratulate Assemblyman Gray for successfully championing this issue. The passage of this bill secures a victory for California’s communities that rely upon foundational water rights for the lifeline of reliable water,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore. “AB 313 received strong, bipartisan support from the get-go, a clear sign this issue stretched across party lines. Thanks to Assemblyman Gray’s leadership, AB 313 is one signature away from becoming law.”

BBID provided technical support in crafting the bill, which removes built-in conflicts of interest by establishing a new water rights management structure. AB 313 requires unbiased, administrative law judges to hear all water rights matters in a newly-created Water Rights Division in the Office of Administrative Hearings. The shift ensures these often complicated, controversial matters are heard by a neutral body.

Currently, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) exercises near-comprehensive control over California’s water rights. The SWRCB writes regulations, initiates enforcement actions, and conducts hearings in its own courtroom in which Board staff act as the prosecution and Board members act as judge and jury.

In a statement posted on his website, Assemblyman Gray said, “The region I represent is the target of a massive water grab from the State Water Resources Control Board. A water grab of this size would cost the local economy hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite receiving thousands of comments refuting the faulty science contained in their report, and repeated requests from community leaders to fully consider the impact of jeopardizing the drinking water supply of thousands of people, the water board is poised to dismiss our concerns and adopt the report. If there is any lesson this fight has taught me, it is that the Legislature has handed far too much power over to bureaucrats who simply do not care about the people I represent.”

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) represents the 21st Assembly District, encompassing all of Merced County and portions of Stanislaus County.

“Throughout my time in the legislature, I have been working to restore fairness and create checks on the power of unelected bureaucrats on the State Water Board,” continued Gray. “The passage of AB 313 is a step in the right direction. This bill levels the playing field by ensuring that water rights holders receive the same due process and objectivity that our justice system promises everyone – nothing more, nothing less.”

AB 313’s productive transfer of power eliminates any potential duplicative efforts for any similar hearings and responsibility to fall under the SWRCB.

The bill now heads to Governor Brown’s desk for his signature.

BBID-Backed Water Reform Bill Passes Assembly

Sacramento, CA (May 30, 2017) – On Tuesday, the California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a major water bill backed by Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID). Assembly Bill 313, introduced earlier this year by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) to reestablish balance and fairness for California’s water rights holders, was passed with a 64-4 vote. BBID provided technical support in crafting the bill, which makes significant repairs to California’s broken water management structure.

“Assemblyman Gray’s visionary leadership brought this critical, statewide issue to the forefront – and today’s decisive action signals that lawmakers agree it’s time to fix our broken system,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore. “State agencies shouldn’t have unchecked power and little accountability, preventing water rights holders from being treated with the foundational fairness our justice system promises one and all. AB 313 balances the scales.”

The bill establishes a new water rights management structure, creating a new Water Rights Division in the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to handle all water rights matters. Currently, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) exercises near-comprehensive control over California’s water rights. The SWRCB writes regulations, initiates enforcement actions, and conducts hearings in its own courtroom in which Board staff act as the prosecution and Board members act as judge and jury.

“As BBID itself has experienced, that structure’s built-in conflicts of interest and biases result in an unfair process,” Gilmore said.

Under AB 313, all quasi-adjudicative matters involving water rights would be decided upon by administrative law judges in the new Water Rights Division, which would conduct hearings neutrally. The bill ensures all hearings regarding the issuance of administrative civil liability (ACL) and cease-and- desist orders (CDO) involving water rights are to be held in the new Water Rights Division, rather than the SWRCB. This productive transfer of power eliminates any potential duplicative efforts for any similar hearings and responsibility to fall under the SWRCB.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, AB 313 previously passed out of the Assembly policy and fiscal committees without a single “no” vote. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will be considered in the coming weeks.

“This is a big step in the right direction for California water,” said BBID Board President Russell Kagehiro. “Should this bill become law, communities across the state will have a more secure water supply.”