Senate Bill 559, a bill jointly authored by the Central Valley Caucus lead by Senator Hurtado, was placed on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File this week.

The bill, sponsored by Friant Water Authority and supported by a large, diverse stakeholder group including CCM, would grant up to $400 million to the Friant Water Authority to restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal upon an appropriation by the legislature.

Senator Hurtado opted to present the bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Tuesday to reiterate the significance of the Canal to the Central Valley economy, rural communities, and the environment.

Critics of the bill argue that funding should come from the federal government and/or the project users, not the state.

To address these concerns, amendments were made to the bill requiring a 35% match from user fees, local sources, federal funding or a combination thereof.

SB 559 has received significant bipartisan support, in large part to the educational efforts by Senator Hurtado and others.  CCM applauds Senator Hurtado and the Central Valley Caucus for their work on this important issue.  SB 559 has become an important part of the larger discussion being had in Sacramento about the future of California’s water supply, water quality, and infrastructure investments.

By manner of process, SB 559 was automatically ordered to the “suspense file” due to the amount of the appropriation.  All suspense file bills must be acted on before August 30th.