Senator Wolk Angrily Withdraws Authorship of Delta Bill

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LoisWolkIt is becoming more and more clear that the path has already been set out to increase water exports out of the Delta.  The Water Conference Committee set up by Senator Darrell Steinberg last week excluded Senator Wolk, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada and the other legislators who represent districts in and around the Delta.

When Wolk became notified by Senate Pro Tem Steinberg that her legislation, SB 458, establish a Delta Conservancy would be amended in the Water Conference Committee with provisions that she and the other Delta counties opposed, she withdrew her authorship.  She has been replaced with Senators Steinberg and Joe Simitian as the authors of SB 458.

She then issued forth a strongly worded statement that read in part:

“When I learned that the Conference Committee intended to alter key provisions of the bill, as well as other pieces of the water package, it was clear I could no longer carry this legislation.  What began as a sincere effort to create a state and local partnership to restore the Delta and sustain the Delta communities and economy is becoming, day by day, amendment by amendment, a tool to assist water exporters who are primarily responsible for the Delta’s decline.”

She also rebuked the Senate Leader for lack of inclusion of Delta communities in the process:

“It is regrettable. Without the Delta communities as working partners in this effort it is unlikely to succeed.”

The outcome here is becoming increasingly clear and alarming for counties such as Yolo that have a stake in the health and vitality of the Delta.

At this point in time, the Delta communities have no representatives at the table when crucial decisions are being made.  It is abundantly clear that the deck has been stacked against the Delta and this will be a huge blow to Yolo County and to an entire range ecological and economic factors upon which many of the Delta Counties will rely.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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10 thoughts on “Senator Wolk Angrily Withdraws Authorship of Delta Bill”

  1. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I applaud Senator Wolk for standing up to restore the Delta and work with Delta communities in the process. It’s unfortunate that Wolk and Yamada have been left out. This does not bode well for Yolo County.

  2. DonShor

    Actually, this barely has any effect on Yolo County, though it definitely affects the majority of her Senate district. We don’t get our water from the Delta, and Delta conservation issues don’t have an impact here.
    I strongly support the principle of a governance body for the Delta, using scientific evidence for water and habitat management practices. But the devil is in the details, and the absence of Delta-area representatives from the conference committee will definitely skew the results.
    Unfortunately, the political balance of power does not bode well for Delta interests.

  3. Don Shor is correct

    I agree w Don Shor. This is ugly political maneuvering at its worst. And I am quite surprised at Darrel Steinberg for allowing it to happen. Up until now, I had a lot of respect for him as a legislator. Not including the Delta community says there is no desire for any opposition to the bill as amended, no matter how poorly thought out or counter to the very interests of the people it is supposed to protect. I suspect outside interests who want to siphon off water from the Delta region are probably behind this, but it is only a guess. Anyone know anything about Darrell Steinberg, and why he would cater to outside interests trying to take Delta water? Does this have anything to do with a peripheral canal? I’m ignorant on this issue…

  4. Adam Smith

    Unfortunately for residents of the Delta, the state has to move forward on providing a water distribution plan that protects and enhances a majority of the states residents. As is the case with many issues of the day, there will be winners and losers. I think the line from one of the Star Trek movies is appropriate – ” the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

  5. nancy

    I applaud Lois for her principled stand and admirable effort to achieve good, balanced legislation and her respect for democratic and representative government. What’s going on now in Sacramento flies in the face of good leadership and process.
    Nancy Price

  6. Hmmmmmmm...

    “Unfortunately for residents of the Delta, the state has to move forward on providing a water distribution plan that protects and enhances a majority of the states residents. As is the case with many issues of the day, there will be winners and losers. I think the line from one of the Star Trek movies is appropriate – ” the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.”

    I would agree with you, except this is a situation where there is a corruption of process. Why eliminate any opposition from a committee – shouldn’t all voices be heard so there is consensus building? No, instead this is an attempt to game the system, so that certian interests are heard louder than other interests, to stack the deck in favor of a certain preconceived agenda.

  7. Get Real

    Darrel Steinberg is concerned about reaching higher office. His thoughts on the Delta are framed by that ambition. And Southern California has more votes than the Delta.

    In the end, all the environmental rules, drilling restrictions, species protections etc will just be ignored when they come up against thirsty constituents or too expensive oil.

    Lois Wolk is nice enough, and well meaning, but she has no backbone to stand up against her party leaders and take the actions that the state needs to avert the cliff it is heading for, financial and otherwise.

  8. Hmmmmmmmmmm...

    “Darrel Steinberg is concerned about reaching higher office. His thoughts on the Delta are framed by that ambition. And Southern California has more votes than the Delta.
    In the end, all the environmental rules, drilling restrictions, species protections etc will just be ignored when they come up against thirsty constituents or too expensive oil.
    Lois Wolk is nice enough, and well meaning, but she has no backbone to stand up against her party leaders and take the actions that the state needs to avert the cliff it is heading for, financial and otherwise.”

    Thanks for the insight. What you have said makes a lot of sense.

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