Water district bill vote process altered
June 24, 2014
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
A controversial proposal to form a managing water district for the Paso Robles groundwater basin passed a Senate committee Tuesday with significant amendments.
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) agreed to the changes to his bill, AB 2453, including one that will require both the petition and formation vote to be based on one landowner, one vote. The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee then passed the bill 8-0.
Amendments include removing the landownership requirement for the three at-large seats; requiring that the petition and formation vote be based on one landowner, one vote; incorporating additional clarifying language to ensure the SLO LAFCO has the ability to review powers and authorities granted by AB 3030; and including various technical amendments gleaned from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee last week.
Achadjian issued a tepid comment following the vote: “Today’s committee vote shows that the Legislature recognizes the need for proper groundwater management in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin,” he said. “I am pleased that the bill brought to me by the Board of Supervisors continues to move through the legislative process.”
The bill goes to the Senate Floor, probably in August, then back to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments by Aug. 31, the session deadline.
Fifth District Supervisor Debbie Arnold spoke at the Sacramento hearing, and told CalCoastNews following the vote that she is “very pleased by the committee’s action.”
Arnold has been an outspoken advocate of a district formation and management process that allows small landowners to have a vote equal in strength to that of large landowners.
“This bill might be going in the right direction,” Arnold said.