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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, February 24th, 2017.

Jerry Brown wants to spend nearly $450 million on flood control following dam emergency

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

PNP comment: If you go to the link, there are several short videos to watch. — Editor Liz Bowen

February 24, 2017

After successfully appealing to the Trump administration to repair the crumbling Oroville Dam, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he wants to accelerate spending on dam safety, flood protection and aging transportation infrastructure.

The Democratic governor’s plan would spend $50 million from the general fund and re-purpose $387 million from the $7.5-billion water bond overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014 to pay for flood control.

Brown, who made a surprise visit to the dam’s incident command post Wednesday, said the state faces tens of billions in infrastructure needs. Brown also is asking the federal government to streamline regulatory

“There is real work to be done,” Brown told reporters at the Capitol, calling the proposed allotments “basic government needs.”

“We got to belly up to the bar and start spending money,” he added.

Federal emergency officials earlier this month approved Brown’s requests to pay for winter storm damages and to support the unfolding response to the emergency at the distressed dam.

California legislators also have taken an interest. A bipartisan group has been taking aerial tours of site amid preparations for next week’s oversight hearing to review what happened in Oroville, including issues with the emergency spillway that forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people along the Feather River Basin.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has said he wants to provide $500 million in competitive grants to local and regional agencies for flood protection.

Oroville Dam spillways weather latest storm as inflow of water slows

State water resources officials and the Butte County sheriff were feeling optimistic Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, as inflows into Lake Oroville were dropping. They said an emergency spillway on Oroville Dam was unlikely to be redeployed and an evacuation warni

Peter Hecht The Sacramento Bee

On Friday, Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, said he was pleased with Brown’s proposed action to repair the spillways and protect flooding.

“It shows that we will do everything necessary to make the dam and communities below it safe. Providing the funding and environmental streamlining is essential to getting that job done now,” Gallagher said.

“We also need to have an immediate, robust, and real discussion about ensuring investment in our water infrastructure,” he added.

California had more than $11.8 billion in unsold natural resources bonds as of Dec. 31, including $7.4 billion from Proposition 1, the water borrowing measure. Last month’s spending plan proposes almost $1.3 billion in natural resources bond sales through December 2017.

Brown said the state also is spending $634 million on Proposition 1E and Proposition 84 bond money for flood control over the next two years.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article134767129.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California senator removed from floor after criticizing late lawmaker Tom Hayden

CA & OR

PNP comment: Hummm! Is the  1st Amendment under attack in the CA. Senate? — Editor Liz Bowen

The California Senate was thrown into chaos and anger on Thursday when a Republican member was forcibly removed from the floor for allegedly speaking out of turn during a session.

Republican colleagues say Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove, was silenced by the Democratic majority when the Senate sergeant-at-arms escorted her from the chamber as Nguyen tried to criticize the late Democratic lawmaker Tom Hayden for his stance against the Vietnam War.

“I’m enraged at the violation to free speech, our Constitution and the precedent this sets,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, who asked the Senate Rules Committee to look into what happened and make sure there is no “retribution” against Nguyen for the incident.

HAYDEN OBITUARY: Tom Hayden, ’60s activist and liberal statesman, dead at 76

Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who represents a large Vietnamese community in Orange County, said she was shaken up and “quite upset” at being removed. Two days after the Senate memorialized Hayden, who traveled to North Vietnam with then-wife Jane Fonda in 1974, Nguyen said she wanted to offer “another historical perspective.”

“He sided with the communist government that enslaved and killed millions of Vietnamese, including my family,” Nguyen said. Without U.S. support for South Vietnam, “I wouldn’t be here today. I would be dead.”

At an unrelated press conference later, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said he was “greatly unsettled (by) what took place on the floor.”

De León, a Los Angeles Democrat, agreed to the Rules Committee review and said he would talk to Nguyen and Fuller. But he added that the situation “could have easily been dealt with” if they had followed parliamentary procedure.

Nguyen attempted to make her comments during the adjourn-in-memory portion of the Senate floor session, when members typically offer tributes to constituents who have recently died. After first delivering her comments in Vietnamese, Nguyen was quickly cut off as she tried to repeat them in English.

“Members, today I recognize in memory the millions of Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died in seeking for freedom and democracy,” she said. “On Tuesday, you had an opportunity to honor Sen. Tom Hayden. With all due respect, I would like to offer this historical perspective …”

Presiding Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, interrupted Nguyen and gave the floor to Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, who said Nguyen was out of order because she did not raise her objections during the Hayden tribute ceremony two days before. Nguyen continued to speak for several minutes, even as Lara repeatedly asked her to take a seat and then eventually ordered the sergeants to remove her.

“Sergeants, please remove Sen. Nguyen from the chamber,” Lara said. “Have her removed immediately. Sergeants, please remove Sen. Nguyen, she is out of order.”

Read it here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article134515314.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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