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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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 MAY 5, 2006 California Farm Bureau Friday Review
A Farm Bureau-supported constitutional amendment to limit the use of eminent domain was held in the Senate
Judiciary Committee. SCA 20 (Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks) would have specifically prohibited the
taking of private property for purposes of economic development, increasing tax revenue, or for another private
use. In addition, it would have prohibited the use of eminent domain when the government agency intends to
maintain the present use by a different owner. This latter provision would have also prevented the proposed
condemnation of the 17,000 acre Conaway Ranch by Yolo County. Yolo county has disingenuously attempted
to justify this taking by claiming that it is necessary to prohibit development on the ranch. In addition to the fact
that most of the ranch is within the Yolo Bypass, the property could not be rezoned for development without the
approval of the Board of Supervisors. The vote on SCA was 1 to 2 with three votes needed for passage. The roll
call was Ayes: Ackerman; Noes: Escutia, Kuehl; Abstaining: Dunn.

In the early morning hours of Friday, May 5, 2006, the Legislature approved four infrastructure bonds for the
November ballot - $19.925 billion for transportation projects, $10.416 billion for K-12 education and colleges,
$4.09 billion for flood protection and $2.85 billion for affordable housing. The $37.3 billion compromise also
includes several related measures with some interesting new provisions of law. The negotiations on the package
were held behind closed doors, mainly in the Senate President Pro tem’s (Don Perata, D-Oakland) office. The
month-long negotiations between the legislative leadership included Perata and Assembly Speaker (Fabian
Nunez, D-Los Angeles), and the Minority Leaders (Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine) and Assembly Republican
Leader (George Plescia, R-San Diego) in the Assembly.

The bond package that stalled in March was pared back from $50 billion to $37 billion and the Republicans’
demands for labor law revisions and new dams were dropped, but some relief from the California
Environmental Quality Act on levee and bridge repair was included in separate legislation. Also, the Assembly
Republicans pay-as-you-go approach was largely abandoned, although the package does include $500 million
as an immediate allocation for flood control. One of the final pieces of the legislative puzzle was the teachers
union agreeing to go neutral on the so-called Proposition 42 compromise. In 2002 voters approved Prop 42 that
was suppose to reserve $1.4 billion annually from the sales tax on fuel for transportation funding. The state’s
continuing budget crisis has caused the suspension of those provisions. SCA 7 (Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch)
would recast the suspension requirements to limit the number of times the funds can be transferred to the
general fund and require the funds be repaid with interest within three years to the Transportation Investment
Fund. Below are the measures that were included in the bond package and their respective votes in the Senate
and Assembly:
• SCA 7 (Torlakson) - Prop. 42 fix passed 38-0 and 58-10;

• AB 1540 (Nunez)- SCA 7 ballot language passed 34-4 and 56-9;

• AB 140 (Nunez)- $4.09 billion (including $3 billion for Central Valley and Delta levees; $500 million
for flood control subventions) passed 36-1 and 61-9;

• AB 142 (Nunez)- $500 million appropriation for flood control levee repairs and improvements passed
38-0 and 72-0 (this is also an urgency statue that would take effect immediately upon the governor’s

• SB 1689 (Perata)- $2.85 billion for a housing bond passed 27-11 and 54-17;
• AB 1467 (Nunez)- Public-Private Partnerships for Goods Movement was passed 26-7 and 45-15. The
bill would authorize CalTrans and regional agencies to enter into lease agreements for transportation
projects designed to improve goods movement. This measure includes authorization for toll lanes for
commercial vehicles and conversion of high-occupancy vehicle lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes.
(Note: there will be another measure to set forth vote threshold for rejection of lease agreement within
60 days of agreement.);

• AB 1039 (Nunez and Perata)- permit streamlining for levee and bridges (CEQA exemptions) passed
37-0 and 56-9;

• AB 127 (Nunez and Perata)- $10.4 billion for an education bond passed 29-8 and 58-12;

• SB 1266 (Perata)- $19.9 billion for a transportation, transit and air quality bond passed 37-1 and 61-9.
This largest bond includes $1 billion for improvements to Highway 99, $3.1 billion for improvements to
California air and sea port infrastructure and security, and $1 billion for appropriation by the Legislature
that reduce emissions and improve air quality in trade corridors commencing at the state’s airports,
seaports, and land ports of entry, another $2 billion for projects in the state transportation improvement
program, $4 billion for public transit projects including intercity rail projects and to commuter or urban
rail operators, bus operators, waterborne transit operators, and other transit operators in California for
rehabilitation, safety or modernization improvements, capital service enhancements or expansions, new
capital projects, bus rapid transit improvements, or for rolling stock procurement, rehabilitation, or
replacement, $1 billion for a newly created State-Local Partnership program that would make funds
available upon appropriation by the Legislature for allocation by the California Transportation
Commission over a five-year period to eligible transportation projects nominated by an applicant
transportation agency (A dollar for dollar match of local funds would be required for an applicant
transportation agency to receive state funds under this program.), $1 billion for transit system safety,
security and disaster response, $2 billion for a newly created Local Streets and Road Improvement,
Congestion Relief, and Traffic Safety Account (the funding would be equally split between cities and
counties with 75 percent of the county portion being allocated based on the number of vehicles
registered in the county and 25 percent based on the mileage of road maintained within the county. The
city portion will be allocated based on population; i.e.; in the proportion that the total population of the
city bears to the total population of all the cities in the state.), and other funding for seismic retrofitting,
grade separation and railroad crossing safety improvements, and general highway maintenance.

AB 3011 (John Benoit, R-Palm Desert) passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the consent
calendar with a 17-0 vote. This Highway Patrol sponsored bill brings California into compliance with the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. AB 3011 also creates a an exemption for hay growers, hauling their
own hay, in the course of conducting their farming operation to continue to secure their hay loads using the
same tie-down methods and safety measures that they are accustomed to. This exemption is in recognition that
the new federal load securement regulations do not specifically address the uniqueness of this commodity.
Commercial hay haulers will be required to comply with the new load securement regulations on January 1,
2007, as mandated by this legislation. AB 3011 will next be heard in the Assembly. CFBF is in support.

AB 2479 by (David Cogdill, R-Modesto) passed out of the Assembly Agriculture Committee with no
opposition and will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee on May 10. This bill would reauthorize
California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Weed Management Area program and appropriate $2.5
million. Every dollar provided by the state at the onset of the program in 1999 was matched 3-1 through federal
matching funds, grants, private donations, and volunteer work. Funding for this successful program ended in
2004. Farm Bureau continues to work closely with the author and sponsors in support of AB 2479.



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