California water districts: We can handle three more years of drought

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

State officials will not force most California water districts to reduce water use this year, even as they caution that the five-year drought persists and note that drought-fueled wildfires continue to wreak havoc.

The State Water Resources Control Board in May asked California’s 411 urban water districts to evaluate how much water they would need in the next three years if drought continued – and whether their supplies would meet that demand. Districts that certified their supplies are adequate do not face mandatory water-use cuts. Those with inadequate supplies must set conservation goals proportional to their anticipated shortfall.

About 85 percent of the state’s water districts told the water board that they believe they have adequate supplies to handle continued drought and should not be subject to state-mandated conservation targets, according to results released Tuesday by the water board.

In the Sacramento region, no water supplier will face state-mandated conservation targets, though about half of the region’s districts have set voluntary conservation goals and a few local communities, including Sacramento and Davis, will continue to restrict lawn watering days. …

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California Chamber releases list of ‘job killer’ bills

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

The California Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday released a list of 18 bills it says will reduce jobs and hurt the state economy.

The chamber introduces it’s so-called “job killers” every spring and boasts a high success rate of blocking bills on the list from becoming law. Critics question the organization’s methodology to determine the list.

All of the bills labeled job killers this year were introduced by Democratic lawmakers and four carried over from 2015.

“As everyone knows, California has areas that are booming economically and other areas that are stagnating,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber, in a statement. “Each part of California has unique problems and these job killers will negatively impact future economic …

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Kamala Harris seeks to block ‘kill the gays’ ballot measure

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a court Wednesday to intervene and allow her to block an incendiary planned ballot measure authorizing the killing of gays and lesbians.

Calling the proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act” patently unconstitutional and utterly reprehensible, Harris filed a request with the Superior Court in Sacramento seeking to be relieved of her ministerial duty to prepare a title and summary for the measure before it advances to the signature-gathering stage. Harris argues that readying it for circulation would waste state resources, generate unnecessary divisions and mislead the public.

“This is not about whether we like something or not, or whether we simply find it offensive or troubling,” Harris said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “In this case, we are talking about a proposal that literally is calling for violence. It’s calling for vigilantism. It’s calling for the public to be able to shoot in the head a member of the LGBT community. …

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Jerry Brown Wants Greater Investment in CA Roads

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

With the bipartisan water bond accord in their rear-view, California Gov. Jerry Brown implored lawmakers Monday to come together and begin the costly task of repairing the state’s crumbling roads.

Brown said following passage of the $7.5 billion water bond that it’s equally important for the state to deal with its long-standing road and highway challenges. California faces $59 billion in deferred road maintenance, and the price tag to meet the state’s long-term transportation needs is significantly higher.

“Each year, we fall further and further behind and we must do something about it,” Brown said during a speech marking …


House Passes GOP California Drought Bill, But Senate Approval Unlikely

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

Legislation addressing California’s drought reached an inconclusive high-water mark Tuesday, passing the House on a largely party line vote before trickling off to a bleak fate in the Senate.

While the Republican-controlled House approved the California water bill by a 230-182 margin, California’s two Democratic senators oppose it with varying degrees of severity.

The Senate resistance and the bill authors’ inability to reconcile competing state interests effectively renders the stand-alone California Emergency Drought Relief Act a Capitol Hill orphan. Last-minute efforts to add similar language onto a separate spending bill continue. …


Plot thickens on Hollywood tax credit

State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León claims to be “100-percent committed” to the CA film tax credit, but hints at room for improvement. The Sacramento Bee reports:

We’re watching for some late plot twists in the Legislature’s effort to keep film production in California.

Some who have an interest in extending the state’s film tax credit matter will meet at the state Capitol today. The main tax credit vessel, Assembly Bill 1839, has so far marched through the Legislature without drawing a single dissenting vote.

But there have been a few wrinkles. A Tuesday item on the Deadline Hollywood blog reported that Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, had cast doubt on the likelihood of a tax credit passing the Legislature this year. The incoming Senate president pro tem’s office discounted the blog item…

Read the full article from the Sacramento Bee here.