On this week’s episode of The CAP⋅impact Podcast, we revisit our conversation with Assembly Member JAmes Gallagher (R – Yuba City) on the Oroville Dam crisis, the series of events that led up to it, it’s impacts, and what is being done now that the crisis is over.
You might be wondering why we’re going back to this conversation, it’s because Assembly Member Gallagher put out a statement along with his counterpart in the California State Senate, Senator Jim Nielsen, in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s May revision to the state budget. Their statement reads:
We thank the Governor for heeding our and our constituents’ call to fund the repairs of the damaged levees. The increased funding of $125 million for levee repair and maintenance is welcome news to our communities. Last year alone, high water events resulted in significant damage to the levees that protect our homes and communities with an estimated $800 million in needed repairs. Maintaining and repairing these levees will require an ongoing funding commitment. While more is needed, we are pleased to see the Governor’s revised budget includes funding for this purpose.”
Given how hyper-partisan political discourse has become, the statement stood out to me because we see two Republican members of the California Legislature offering praise for a Democratic governor. But it’s also not hard to make the connection between the crisis with the Oroville Dam and “high water events” last year.
Since this is a policy podcast, obviously we talked about some legislation. One of the bill’s referenced was still pending a vote in the Senate when we recorded. That bill, AB 1270, is one of thirteen new laws already enacted by the California Legislature and Governor Brown. The other bill, AB 3045, which was recently written about in Capitol Weekly by Tess Townsend, would move oversight of the State Water Project from the Department of Water Resources – which we regularly refer to as DWR in the podcast – to “a new State Water Project Commission under the state’s Natural Resources Agency” to run the State Water Project, of which the Oroville Dam is the centerpiece.
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