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Governor signs draconian groundwater laws

Agriculture - California, Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen, California water, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Fox and Hounds Daily.com

Governor Signs Draconian Groundwater Laws

Jim Nielsen

State Senator, Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba


Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of groundwater legislation – Assembly Bill 1739, Senate Bill 1168 and Senate Bill 1319 – that were put together in the back rooms of the Capitol. These bills were continually amended and tweaked up until the final moments of passage in the late hours of the legislative session.

It is unfortunate that the Governor felt compelled to sign this groundwater management scheme that was hastily cobbled together without regard to historical legal precedent and private property water rights.

Californians who rely on groundwater will now have to deal with not only new and unaccountable government agencies that will police water usage; they will be at the mercy of these faceless bureaucrats who will impose unknown fees and fines.

With the stroke of his pen today, the Governor changed over 100 years of water laws — without the people’s input. This is not the democracy Californians deserve.

We need to address the overdraft problems in specific regions of the state. This can be accomplished through good local management and groundwater recharge. The state can play a big role working with local government. This should include local government and citizen input. This should be our approach, rather than giving dictatorial control to state agencies.


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News from CA Senator Jim Nielsen: CEQA, on-line voter registration; Water Bond status

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen

Bi-Partisan CEQA Legislation puts new Sacramento Arena on the Fast Track


Recently, I co-authored SB 743 with Senator Steinberg that streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, and for the first time, expands CEQA reform for important projects.

In particular, this bi-partisan legislation expedites the CEQA process to allow the Sacramento Arena to be built in time for the 2016 NBA season. This is an important project to the Sacramento area as it will propel our region to be a magnet for jobs and other economic interests.

This bill maintains full environmental protection and analysis while allowing for speedier judicial review in the event of any lawsuits challenging the project. It will still require a full Environmental Impact Report, public comment and mitigation of any adverse environmental impacts. I also secured an important amendment to limit the use of eminent domain.

A new, modern multi-purpose sports complex will both revitalize the downtown area and highlight our Sacramento Kings, generating billions of dollars in economic activity for the Sacramento region.


California Voter Registration Goes Online

Registering to vote is now easier than ever through the California Secretary of State’s website. You can use your iPad, tablet or smartphone to fill out the online voter registration. The online system accesses the Department of Motor Vehicles database to verify your information and sends them your local county elections office to process. Your county elections officials will contact you when your voter registration is complete. The deadline to register to vote is 15 days prior to Election Day. For further questions call (800) 345-VOTE (8683) or contact your local county elections office. Visit http://registertovote.ca.gov/ to register to vote today.


A Water Bond Package to Watch


Discussions surrounding retooling the water bond package before it goes to the voters in November 2014 will continue into next year. The 2009 water bond package pushed through and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger was slated to go before the voters in 2010, but has continually been delayed due to California’s sluggish economy.

For the last several decades farmers and ranchers have been struggling to deal with strained water allotments and an increased demand for production. I have been historically opposed to the original package’s creation of a “Delta Stewardship Council,” which could potentially put environmental interests and the rights of fish ahead of the needs of humans if allowed to expand beyond the authority of the bill.

There are currently two bills that now seek to revise the water bond package. Both proposals decrease the existing bond’s appropriations for surface water storage from a paltry $3 billion to an entirely inadequate $1 billion. Assembly Bill 1331 (Rendon) whittles the original $11.4 billion down to $6.5 billion. Senate Bill 42 (Wolk) repeals the 2009 water bond, replaces it entirely with the California Clean Secure Water Supply and Delta Recovery Act of 2014 and reduces the package to $5.6 billion. Compounding the diminished funds, SB 42 leaves out continuous appropriation language for water storage projects.

I will continue to monitor the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to ensure that the Delta Stewardship Council does not attempt to exceed its statutory authority. My primary focus is to voice the need for the expansions of water storage capabilities in California and to protect area-of-origin and private water rights for Northern Californians.

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Happy Independence Day from Senator Jim Nielsen

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen

I wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July.

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our ‘Birth of Freedom’.  It is time to reflect on and appreciate the sacrifices so many Americans have made beginning with ‘The Founders’ that have protected and preserved our freedom.

We each must accept enduring personal responsibilities to ensure our freedom.  Freedom is not free.  Freedom is not an entitlement.  Freedom is precious and our freedom is fragile.

Let us not take it for granted on this Fourth of July and every day.


Senator, 4th District

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Fire Tax Update

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen, Fire Fees

News from Senator Jim Nielsen

CalFire recently corrected the State Responsibility Area (SRA) maps in response to complaints from homeowners who fall outside of an SRA and were errantly taxed. Nevertheless, CalFire officials intend to send bills to homeowners who were recently drawn out of the maps. CalFire’s reasoning? The tax is being collected for the 2012-13 fiscal year – before the maps were corrected.

If you believe your home is not in an SRA, you are urged to pay the tax – but under protest. Should the fee be found illegal, it is hoped that you will be entitled to a refund.

On a related note, the lawyers representing the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will appear in Sacramento Superior Court on July 19 to make the case that, should the tax ultimately be deemed illegal, the state is obligated to issue refunds to those from whom the tax was collected. The State has filed papers to petition the court to keep those funds regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit. To follow these developments, go to www.firetaxprotest.org

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News from CA. Senator Jim Nielsen

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen

Update on Public Safety Realignment

Since its adoption in 2011, Governor Brown’s “Prison Realignment” plan has caused the early release of tens of thousands of felons into our communities.

The state has been shifting dangerous felons from state prisons into county jurisdictions without the space or resources to properly supervise them. Predictably, this is resulting in the early parole of many felons and the early release of those criminals who would otherwise be incarcerated.

We are beginning to see almost daily evidence of the true human cost of these policies in our communities – victims of everything from vandalism and assault to rape and murder. Many of my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly have authored bills aimed at reversing the disastrous effects of AB 109 or at least mitigating the damage it is causing in our communities.

This year, I am authoring three bills in this effort:

  • Senate Bill 708      – Ensures that violent repeat felons with a history of three or more      felonies serve their time in state prison and not county jail.

  • SB 710 –      Establishes the Board of Parole Hearings as the exclusive authority of      parole supervision and revocation. The bill also makes released prisoners      subject to post-release parole supervision for a minimum of three years.

  • SB 742 –      Restores tougher penalties and possible parole revocation for paroled sex      offenders who remove or disable their GPS ankle monitors.

More information on these bills is available from the Legislation link on my Senate homepage at www.sen.ca.gov/Nielsen.

Higher Taxes and Fees on the Docket

The voters approved Proposition 30 in November believing that it would be the catalyst to balance the books and eliminate the need for more of the taxpayers’ money. However, many in the Legislature perceive Prop. 30’s passage as a green light to increase taxes and fees even more. Here’s just a small sampling of some of the tax and fee bills moving through the Legislature.

Please click here to take a brief survey to register your views on these taxes.

Senate Bill 241 (Evans) will impose a 9.9% oil severance tax to fund higher education and state parks, which will be passed onto consumers through higher gasoline and energy costs. Because the cost of transporting goods will rise, consumer prices at the retail end are likely to increase as well.

Senate Bill 245 (Correa) will require mattress manufacturers to participate in a mattress recycling program. Imposes verification and reporting requirements and will add the cost of establishing and maintaining the program to the price of mattresses.

Senate Bill 391 (DeSaulnier) will impose a $75-per document fee on certain real estate forms and use the fee revenues to fund affordable housing projects.

Senate Bill 622 (Monning) will impose a one-cent per ounce tax on sports drinks, soda and other sweetened beverages with some exceptions for coffee, tea and infant formula. The Board of Equalization originally estimated that this bill would generate fund revenues of about $1.6 billion in addition to more than $100 million annually in sales tax, since the beverage tax will be added to the cost of the product before sales tax is applied.

Senate Bill 700 (Wolk) will impose a 5-cent charge for every single-use carry-out bag. The bill allows retail establishments to keep one cent of the fee revenues as long as it credits 5 cents for each bag provided by a consumer for packaging his or her own purchases. The remaining funds will go into a fund to support litter clean-up.

Vehicle registration fees

Assembly Bill 8 (Perea & Skinner) will extend for an additional eight years vehicle registration surcharges, tire fees and fees on vehicle identification plates to fund alternative fuel and vehicle technologies – particularly hydrogen fueling stations.

Assembly Bill 767 (Levine) will allow counties to increase current supplemental vehicle registration fees for vehicle-theft programs.

Assembly Bill 1002 (Bloom) would double the vehicle registration surcharge (from $3 to $6) to fund sustainable communities.

For a more comprehensive list of all proposed taxes and fee increases please click here. I look forward to receiving your feedback on these bills – and any others of interest. You can obtain more information, including the complete bill text, status, analyses and vote records (when available) from my Senate home page at www.sen.ca.gov/Nielsen.

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UPDATED: Nielsen wins race for state Senate District 4 seat

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen, Elections

 Democrat Harrington a distant second


  • Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:40 p.m., updated January 9, 2013

Jim Nielsen defeated Democrat Michael “Mickey” Harrington on Tuesday in a special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated last fall by
Doug LaMalfa, the north state’s newly seated congressman.

Nielsen carried a nearly a 2-1 vote lead throughout Senate District 4 as ballots were counted Tuesday night. With 100 percent of districtwide precincts reporting as of 12:16 a.m. today, Nielsen had 87,669 votes, or 66.7 percent, compared to Harrington’s 43,866 votes, or 33.3 percent, the secretary of state’s office reported.

Nielsen’s lead was even larger in Shasta County, among others.

“A lot of the counties are up near 70 percent,” Nielsen said just before 10 p.m. Tuesday. “The trend is overwhelming in all counties.”

Read more:


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Lawmaker: It was illegal to make fire fee permanent

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen, Fire Fees

PNP comment: Former Assemblyman Jim Nielsen is asking all those affected and concerned to call the California Governor and complain. The phone number is lower in this post. Thanks. — Editor Liz Bowen 

State board approves to make fee permanent

            UPDATED 7:04 PM PST Dec 05, 2012


                                                    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —

A former California lawmaker who opposed a new statewide fire fee while he was a state Assemblyman says a decision Wednesday to make the fee permanent was illegal.

Former Assembly member Jim Nielsen told KCRA 3 that when lawmakers passed a bill authorizing the fee last year, they also debated how much authority over the fee should be given to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.  A second bill asked lawmakers whether they would give the Board latitude over the fee in future years, and lawmakers voted no, Nielsen said.

“The legislature said no to what the board has just now done,” Nielsen said. “That indicates the intent of the legislature was to not make this interminable and give the board that latitude that they’ve concocted and exercised.”

Board members could not be reached late on Wednesday afternoon, but immediately following Wednesday morning’s vote, board chairman Stan Dixon said board members had no choice but to make the fee permanent.

Dixon told KCRA 3 that allowing the fee to expire would have left Cal Fire without millions of dollars, but he said he only voted for the fee reluctantly.

“I had mixed emotions because I had not been highly supportive of the way this whole thing came about in the first place,” Dixon said. “I thought it could have used a lot more input from people in the state of California.”

The board and Cal Fire, which the board oversees, have heard from Californians across the state who oppose the fee, as high as $150 for many of the state’s rural residents.

Lawmakers approved the fee last year. At the same time, they took money from Cal Fire to help balance the state’s books. So, the fee’s opponents argue that they are being forced to pay to backfill the state’s general fund.

Homeowners are not receiving new services in return for paying the new fee.

The state faces a lawsuit from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association because of the fee, and even the state agencies collecting the fee concede that there have been numerous billing errors, including double billing.

Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/Lawmaker-It-was-illegal-to-make-fire-fee-permanent/-/11797728/17666436/-/lexvv9z/-/index.html#ixzz2EOti38IE

To EVERYONE who lives in the rural part of a county

(not incorporated cities)……

Note the wording of….”Their action will impose a MINIMUM of $150.00 on homeowners”. ...then the question is….WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM?

This is an ILLEGAL TAX and every one of you and your neighbors and relatives who live outside of incorporated cities should be hollering at the governor.

Assemblyman Nielsen is correct….APPOINTEES were not elected by anyone and therefore, have no authority to tax! The appointees are inferring that homeowners don’t have the common sense to vote on something affecting their safety!

Taxes are to be raised by a vote of the people….

call Governor Jerry Brown at    (916) 445-2841

and protest this illegal tax if you are in an affected area.

This tax is also a tentacle  of Agenda 21.  Don’t know what this is?  Listen to our We the People radio show this Sunday on KCNR 1460 am 8-10am.  Tom DeWeese is our guest.  http://teapartymedia.net All programs are archived and can be listened to at your convenience.

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Crowded Senate race forces District 4 runoff; Harrington, Nielsen to seek LaMalfa’s seat

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen, Elections


  • Posted November 23, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.

No candidate won an outright majority in the contest to replace
Doug LaMalfa in the 4th state Senate District, setting up the stage for a runoff in January easily expected to top more than $1 million.

Jim Nielsen, the favorite in the Nov. 6 special election, came away with 49.8 percent of the vote. It was the largest share in the four-way race but still 1,662 votes short of the 50 percent-plus margin needed to declare victory and avoid a second run to the ballot box.

David Reade, Nielsen’s campaign director, said the close margin was unfortunate but not completely unexpected, given the large number of candidates on the ballot. It included fellow Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue, who withdrew from the race in the final days before the election for health reasons.

“That’s the way it is. We’ll move forward, and there will be a new election,” Reade said.

Even with the results, which show how fractured the vote can get when the field becomes crowded, Nielsen, 68, is clearly the big winner heading into the second round Jan. 8. He faces Michael “Mickey” Harrington of Magalia, the Democrat who placed a distant second with 27.7 percent of the vote. For Harrington to be competitive, he would need to pick up the combined support of the other candidates — including the two who dropped out — in the race.

READ it:


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Assemblyman Jim Nielsen blasts AB 109 Realignment of prison inmates

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen

The Disastrous Effects Of One Year of AB 109 Realignment

From Assemblyman Jim Nielsen

        Alice Alecu (916) 319-2562

(Sacramento) – Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) was joined by public safety leaders and families of crime victims today, speaking against AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment, during a press conference at the State Capitol. Every speaker advocated for the immediate repeal of the failed Realignment experiment, which has victimized hundreds of individuals since its implementation a year ago.

“This legislation, unlike any other before, has unleashed an unprecedented crime wave across the state over the past year, and it started in the very first week,” said Nielsen. “This crime wave is real; AB 109 is not working.”

Nielsen said that his experience as the head of the Board of Prison Terms affirms that there is no such thing as ‘low level offenders.’

“There is no greater responsibility for our elected officials and our governors than to protect our lives and property,” said Nielsen.  “Through the implementation of AB 109 they have failed to do so and it constitutes the greatest mistake of this state government in the history of the State of California.”

Nielsen pointed out to the fact that the courts’ ruling was never to let inmates out before completing their sentences, but to fix inmate healthcare, the product of overcrowding. He also suggested that there are better ways to solve the issue without victimizing more innocent citizens in process.  He suggested presenting the courts with a new plan that would not endanger public safety. He also suggested that there is an urgent need for tort and prison reform, which would lower litigation costs imposed on the state by an endless stream of inmate lawsuits.

Nielsen also advocated for imposing greater consequences for re-offending criminals, rather than significantly reduced ones, which is occurring under AB 109.

“There is only one way to make amends,” said Nielsen. “Change it – repeal it and then redo it.”


Assemblyman Nielsen represents the Second Assembly District, which includes: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama and Yolo counties.

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Inmates: Has Public Safety Realignment Saved the State Money?

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen


 Newsletter from Ca. Asemblyman Jim Nielsen

Has Public Safety Realignment Saved the State Money?

On October 1, California will mark the one year anniversary of the Public Safety Realignment program.  Public Safety Realignment will eventually result in 33,000-50,000 felons shifting from state to local custody and 64,000 parolee felons being supervised by local probation departments, instead of the state parole department.

Communities across California are dealing with the chilling impact of Public Safety Realignment – and the results have been tragic in many instances.  Last week, a Fresno man allegedly stabbed two women in their apartment, killing one of the victims, and then stabbed a police officer before being subdued.  According to the Fresno Police Chief, the suspect was in the community as a result of Public Safety Realignment.

Advocates for Realignment frequently stated that costs would be reduced by transitioning felons to local custody.  But the California Budget Fact Check found that:

  • The      Corrections/Public Safety Realignment budget in 2011-12 was $9.6 billion,      roughly the same as the previous year.  According to the non-partisan      Legislative Analyst’s Office, the only significant budgetary savings from      realignment in 2011-12 was the result of reducing education funding by      $2.1 billion.

  • The 2012-13      Corrections/Public Safety Realignment budget increased by over $200      million from the previous year, despite the fact that 29,000 felons are      expected to leave the state system by June 2013 and local agencies will      take control of 64,000 parolees.

  • Local jails are      experiencing overcrowding and other impacts that have forced local      sheriffs to release prisoners before they complete their sentence. By      2015, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that      7,500 prisoners will be housed in county jails with sentences of 3 years      or more.

Click to continue reading “Has Public Safety Realignment Saved the State Money?”

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