Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Report Card - Incomplete

In a recent post, I suggested that the Delta Vision Foundation would give the Governor and California State Legislature a mixed report card. They could not even do that. In a situation where the key issue is governance, all our politicians can muster is an incomplete. The have not even done enough work to be evaluated.
The Delta Vision Foundation analysis charges that in the six months since its release, the Governor has not responded to the recommendations and strategies documented in the Delta Vision Strategic Plan, which his Cabinet Committee reviewed and largely supported. In addition, although the Foundation gave the State Legislature credit for devoting an impressive amount of time and thought to state water policy, they say the current roster of water bills is inconsistent.

At the same time, I find that the Natural Resources Defense Council's Barry Nelson is far too optimistic in his assessment of what the legislature will accomplish this year.
In the next few weeks, legislators including Assemblyman Jared Huffman, Senator Fran Pavley, Senator Lois Wolk and Senator Joe Simitian will take the results of those internal discussions and amend - probably dramatically - their current governance bills, which have already begun moving through the legislature.
Nelson has named those who are tasked with developing the appropriate legislation, but I only have confidence that Lois Wolk will really try to deliver. Simitian has long been one to talk about the environment and then deliver whatever the water districts want. Pavley gave us the AB 32, designed to deliver maximum PR value while doing as little as possible. Huffman seems to be a darling of progressives, but has punted on the Delta Issues.

We really need to be getting Greens on to every Water District Board so that we can make sure the legislature is getting the right message. After all, they consider the water districts with their mandate to support whatever growth happens, to be the ultimate stakeholders.

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