State Lawmakers Intend To Make A Splash With New Water Committee

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Facing a tight timeline, state lawmakers are pushing ahead with the contentious issue of water.

Leaders in the Assembly and Senate today (Tuesday) appointed members to a conference committee on water.

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Democratic Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says he’s putting overcrowded prisons on the back burner and putting water on the top of the “to do” list...
Steinberg:   “You know I have the deal in my head here. I know exactly what its going to take and I want to move in that direction...”
Steinberg will serve as chairman of the new panel that includes members from both houses. 

Republican Senator Dave Cogdill of Modesto is a committee member.  

Cogdill believes lawmakers can get the groundwork of a comprehensive water package approved before they adjourn their session September 11th...
Cogdill:   “I think it needs to happen and happen soon. I think we are really running out of time so we can get it to the voters for the November 2010 election...and, get the kind of guidance that we need for them to move forward...”
Cogdill says voters would have final say on a multi-billion dollar package to pay for water delivery and storage improvements.

Both Cogdill and Steinberg say it would probably be a mix of  bonds and user fees. Water is an issue lawmakers have been fighting over for decades. 

The sticking points are likely to include whether to build a canal or tunnel around the delta and new dams.