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Daylight & Water

For all you Trump haters out there you can’t say he hasn’t done something for us Uber Californians.

In fact, he’s done a couple of good things.

He recently supported and then signed into law, our right to grow hemp.

Of course, the ink was barely dry on the new law when our board of supervisors put some ink on their own new urgency ordinance establishing a temporary moratorium on the cultivation of hemp.

Of course, I know a few folks who say they plan to grow hemp anyway since they believe that federal law “trumps” local ordinances.

Also the President said in a tweet the other day, “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!”

That’s very cool because voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 7 that makes DST permanent in California as long as the feds sign off on the implementation of this proposition. And with Trumpwork Orange now fully behind deep-sixing the twice-a-year changing of clocks backwards and forwards every spring and fall, we should soon be enjoying a somewhat brighter and lighter world.

New Bill Would Create “Drinking Water Trust”

New proposed legislation was introduced by Senator Caballero (D-Salinas) to create the Safe Drinking Water Trust, which would help community water systems in disadvantaged communities provide access to safe drinking water. SB 669 is sponsored by ACWA and the California Municipal Utilities Association. By the way, my water district is a member of ACWA.

The Trust would be created in the State Treasury and funded with General Fund dollars during a state budget surplus year. The principal would be invested and the net income from the Trust would be transferred to a Safe Drinking Water Fund, which the State Water Resources Control Board would administer.

This proposal would create a durable funding source for costs associated with operation and maintenance and consolidation efforts and would complement existing federal and state funding sources for capital costs. The record budget surplus for the 2019-’20 fiscal year presents an opportunity to create and fund the Trust.

SB 669, the Safe Drinking Water Trust, is an alternative solution, i.e., an anti-tax bill to the proposed statewide water tax, which is being proposed by Governor Newsom through budget trailer bill language (very similar to the 2018 budget trailer bill language that did not pass). Here are its primary components:

• The Trust’s principal would be initially financed with a one-time infusion of General Fund dollars during a budget surplus year.

• There is a record budget surplus for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year, which makes it the perfect time to create and fund the Trust.

• Funding the Trust via the General Fund serves as a progressive source of revenue, as taxpayers with higher income would contribute more, while lower income taxpayers would contribute less.

• The Trust’s principal would be invested, and the net income would be transferred to a Safe Drinking Water Fund, which the State Water Board would administer.

I’ll keep you apprised on any developments with both of these bills.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

One Comment

  1. Jim Armstrong March 21, 2019

    Prop 7 only authorized the legislature to look at year-round DST, it did not endorse it.
    Doing away with time shifts is smart. Making Saving Time instead of Standard Time the default is stupid.
    Someday we will know what powerful entity profits from this silly dance and works successfully, if quietly, to continue it.

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