State Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife to hold public hearing on proposed state water bond

INDIO – The state Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife will hold a public hearing in Indio today on a proposed state water bond.

The Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act is an $11.14 billion general-obligation bond proposal that would fund California’s ”aging” water infrastructure, as well as projects and programs to ”address the ecosystem and water supply issues in California,” according to the Association of California Water Agencies.

The bond is part of a legislative package put together in 2009 by then- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to meet the state’s water challenges. The water bond measure was set to be on the state’s 2010 ballot, later moved to the 2012 ballot and then the November 2014 ballot, according to the water agencies association. The Assembly and Senate are both working on updating and revising the bond — if legislation is passed, it would replace the current bond and put a new measure on the ballot. Both the Assembly’s and Senate’s proposals total roughly $6.5 billion, according to the Assembly’s website.

The hearing is at 2 p.m. at Indio’s City Hall, 100 Civic Center Mall. The committee’s chairman, Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lynwood, and Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella, will give opening remarks.

The purpose of the hearing is to share information about the proposed bond issue and get testimony from ”local opinion leaders about the significance of water bond resources for the region,” according to Perez’s office. The hearing will include time for public comments.

”I’m pleased that Chairman Rendon and members of the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee are coming to visit the Coachella Valley and hear local perspectives about the importance of 2014 water bond resources for our region,” Perez said. ”The water bond is an issue of statewide significance and Coachella and Imperial Valley voices must be included in the discussion.”

Kevin Kelley, general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District; Raymond Torres, vice chairman of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe; Andy Horne, Imperial County’s deputy chief executive officer for natural resources development; Dan Farris, director of operations for the Coachella Valley Water District; and Phil Rosentrater, deputy director of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency, will speak, according to the hearing’s agenda.

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