News

Barbed Wire - April 27, 2012

RCRC Turns 40 in 2012 

Senate Committee Delays Action on Structure Changes to Regional Water Quality Control Boards – RCRC Members Urged to Act

Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #2 did not take action this week on the Brown Administration’s proposal to change the structure of the regional water quality control boards – such as eliminating the two representatives from local governments -- delaying taking action to a future date.

RCRC, CSAC, and the League of California Cities sent a letter this week to the Subcommittee expressing concern with the proposal. As previously shared with its member rural counties, RCRC is particularly concerned with the proposed elimination of the two seats on the regional water quality control boards reserved for local government. RCRC is also concerned with other areas of the proposal related to the appointment of the regional water board chair, conflict of interest provisions, the increase in per diem compensation, and the increase in the annual cap.

The Governor’s budget trailer bill language may be accessed at:  http://www.dof.ca.gov/budgeting/trailer_bill_language/natural_resources_and_capital_outlay/documents/%5b038%5d%20Reduce%20the%20Number%20of%20Regional%20Water%20Boards.pdf.

RCRC urges county supervisors and representatives to contact their Senators and Assembly Members to express their concern with the provisions of the budget trailer bill.  Contact Kathy Mannion at (916) 447-4806 with questions or comments. 

To view this week’s updated list of some key legislative bills, please click here.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Realizes Savings from Realignment

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) this week released its plan to improve California’s prison system and save the state money. Titled “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Court Oversight, and Improve the Prison System” the report states that when realignment is fully realized the plan will save the state money; achieve a constitutional level of health care to end lawsuits and federal court oversight; improve operations; and expand rehabilitation to reduce recidivism. According to CDCR, realignment will reduce the prison budget from its current level of over 11 percent of the state general fund to 7.5 percent in FY 2015-16. When prison realignment is fully implemented its expenditures will drop by 18 percent overall; the annual prison budget will be reduced by $1.5 billion; and the nearly 10,000 inmates housed out-of-state will return to California, saving $318 million a year. To view the entire plan please visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/2012plan/docs/plan/complete.pdf

State Water Resources Control Board to Hold Workshops for Bay-Delta Plan

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is proposing a series of workshops to provide input on the Phase 2 comprehensive review and update of the Bay-Delta Plan.  In a February 23, 2012 letter to the State Water Board, RCRC supported the suggestion by a coalition of water and power agencies that workshops be held to discuss the science of water quality and assist in determining the impact of various water quality proposals on existing beneficial uses in the Delta, as well as areas upstream of the Delta.

To view a list of the proposed workshop topics and dates, along with the comprehensive review of the Bay-Delta Plan, please visit http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/ comp_review.shtml.

Please contact Kathy Mannion at (916) 447-4806 or kmannion@rcrcnet.org with questions or comments.

State Water Resources Control Board Adopts Annual Business Plan

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011/2012 Intended Use Plan (IUP) on March 20 for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program. The IUP is the State Water Board’s annual business plan and describes the amount of money CWSRF has available, as well as the terms for this year. CWSRF funds projects that meet certain criteria and have submitted a complete application regardless of whether they are listed in the IUP.  CWSRF accepts applications continuously. For more information about the CWSRF program please visit: www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ grants_loans, call (916) 327-9978, or send an email to CleanWaterSRF@waterboards.ca.gov.

Free Webinar on Climate Adaptation Policy Guide for Local Governments

The Institute for Local Government’s Sustainable Communities Learning Network is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, May 15 on “Climate Adaptation Planning Tools for California Local Governments” from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The California Natural Resources Agency, FEMA and California Emergency Management Agency, with help from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, are seeking feedback on the newly released Draft Climate Adaptation Policy Guide for local governments. The guide is intended to provide a framework to help local decision makers understand the considerations necessary for adaptation planning and policy development. This webinar continues a larger statewide discussion to ensure local governments have access to tools, resources and guidance in order to effectively integrate climate change impacts into local plans and programs. You can learn more at http://www.ca-ilg.org/post/climate-adaptation-planning-webinar. You may sign up for webinar at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/836865409