Wolk and Yamada Pull Support For Delta Bill



by Dan Aiello –

Delta representatives Senator Lois Wolk (D-Woodland) and Assembly member Mariko Yamada (D- Solano), withdrew their authorship and support of S.B. 458 following extensive amendments to the legislation by Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) which both legislators opposed.

Wolk’s action came in response to being notified by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) that her legislation would be amended in a Conference Committee with provisions Senator Wolk and the five Delta counties opposed. Wolk has been replaced with Senators Steinberg and Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) as the authors of SB 458.


“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,” said Senator Wolk.

“The package of water bills being jammed through the legislature does not solve our water problems and what’s worse, new and serious issues are being identified each day,” said Yamada in a statement released yesterday announcing her opposition to S.B. 458 as well as all five water bills.

“As an Assemblymember whose district encompasses one of the largest areas of the Delta primary zone, I cannot support legislation written without a strong Delta voice. I understand we need to act quickly to save the Delta, but we also need a better understanding of the short and long-term impacts of our actions. The best way to do that is to hear these bills during the interim in a special session.”

Asked why Senator Wolk, with more than two decades experience dealing with water and conservation issues in the delta would not have been assigned to the senate water resource committee, Steinberg spokesperson Alicia Trost said, “Senator Steinberg represents the Delta on the committee.”

“The people of the Delta cannot support this bill because it exports water at our expense,” said Yamada.

Senator Wolk’s office expressed similar concern about amended language to S.B. 458 that would allow the recipients of the water to avoid paying for the consequences to delta communities that are forced to move pumps and other adjustments should water export proponents get their wish of removing half the delta’s water south.

“We think [this legislative package] treats the delta like a colony where its resources can be shipped off to other parts of the state,” said Friends of the River’s Steve Evans, who is amused by water export proponents claim their goal is to restore the delta. “We wouldn’t need to restore the delta if we weren’t taking half of its water.” Evans told CPR that no other region of California is treated like the Delta, where its water resource is considered a state commodity up for grabs by special interests who are attempting to jam this water legislation through.

Evans claims that the Republicans will attach, most likely authored by Cogdill, a $12 billion dollar bond package in preparation for the canal construction. “That bond will cost Californians $800 million dollars every year for the next 30 years. That’s fiscal insanity,” believes Evans.

“The artificial deadline of having to pass this legislation by the end of the legislative session will make for bad law,” said Evans, who “doesn’t understand why” Steinberg would capitulate to the Governor’s threat to veto all legislation if he doesn’t get the water legislation he wants.

“We need a better understanding of the legislation being considered,” agreed Yamada, who believes a special session is the best way to go.

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

Friends of the River is urging the California Legislature to reject today’s last minute rush to pass a combined Delta water policy and water bond package.

“It’s likely that whatever will be voted on in the next 24 hours will not even be available in print for review by either individual Legislators or the public. This is no way to conduct the public’s business. A similarly rushed and flawed process resulted in the passage of complex energy deregulation legislation in 1996 that nearly bankrupted the state and caused energy brown-outs nine years ago,” read the organization’s statement.

Dan Aiello is a reporter with the California Progress Report.   Article originally appeared there. Used by permission.


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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8 thoughts on “Wolk and Yamada Pull Support For Delta Bill”

  1. Yowzer!

    This is awful! I just don’t get Steinberg. Glad Wolk and Yamada are standing up and fighting this, even if it turns out to be a quixotic effort. It is all about a corrupt process. Water exports for the good of the state would be a whole lot more acceptable if all voices are heard first! But apparently the water export proponents want to stack the deck in their favor, and don’t want to play fair. How much chance does this bill have of passing? Does anyone know? Peripheral canal now, in this lousy economy? What is the governor/Steinberg thinking?

  2. jake wallace

    Mariko Yamada, doesn’t have the luxury of deciding her actions on all issues especially when the law, civil rights, case law and other, for foster youth are at-stake.

    GC 27641, filed (again) with the Yolo BOS (09/11/09)cited Yamada as a co-conspirator, for the board’s refusal to comply with the county(s) and court(s)shared liability over the appointment of now Sacramento, chief probation officer, Don Meyer, from a manufactured law enforcement investigation conducted by Don Meyer, over felony foster youth abuse allegations.

    Yolo had to have CPO Don Meyers, at any cost. Why Yamada?

    August 14, 2002
    Honorable Dave Rosenberg, Chairman; and
    Members of the Board of Supervisors
    RE: Judicial Council Recommendation as to the
    Appointment of County Probation Officers

    At the same time that Assemblywomen, Bass’ (2005) Select Committee on Foster Care, was ‘fixing’ the foster care system Mariko Yamada, Helen Thomson, Duane Chamberlain, Frank Seifer, Mc Gowan and her colleague’s in Calaveras county were obstructing a state licensed program’s lawful right to serve these youth.

    Yamada failed to explain how that served the public interest. Yamada refused to explain why/how the board’s obstruction was mirrored by then DA Dave Henderson and DA Jeff Reisig.

    The BOS chair, Dave Rosenberg, later, as the 2008/09 presiding judge of the Yolo state court, assured that the grand jury didn’t investigate Yamada’s, now Sacramento CPO Don Meyer,the board’s actions and by extension Rosenberg’s.

    Will Judge Rosenberg, Judge Steve Basha, Robyn Truitt Drivon and Yamada’s former Yolo BOS colleague’s subvert GC 27641, again? Yes, they must now,in order to maintain their earlier acts.

    Can the Assembly Rules Committee see beyond “eye patch” underwear?

  3. Anon

    Read in the Davis Enterprise that the Delta bill Steinberg tried to usurp died, and the entire water package will be brought back at a later time. Anyone else catch that?

    Jake, can you explain the above a bit more. I don’t get it…

  4. jake wallace

    We operated a progressive group home/charter school, Blue Mountain Wilderness Program, Inc. Camp Connell, CA (Calaveras). Our fourth year county official’s interfered with our lawful right to serve state foster youth (2005).

    One example of many:

    A former employee, Greg Plett, probation and deputy Larson, didn’t like a Alameda Honduran national foster youth-because his kind didn’t belong in the country. They concocted a scheme to remove that youth by Plett attacking the juvenile and the sheriff’s charging him w/ three felonies. Many arrest protocols were violated. The youth was charged and transported to a juvenile hall 8-hours away; released the following day and probation/sheriff refused to disclose the felonies or the report– which they dropped.

    We filed that along with 11-complaints against then Calaveras CPO Don Meyer, after we met with Don Meyer, to discuss the Honduran youth; and Meyer threatened BMWP, which included comparing us to the Arizona’s Boys Ranch and Sacramento youth, Nick Contreras, who was medically neglected to death. (http://www.caica.org/NEWS ARIZONA BOYS’ MAIN.htm) Don Meyer was a senior Sacramento SCPD employee at that time. Meyer stated he would tell all county(s) not to place w/us (which Meyer did) even though we had a county host letter (federal requirement) from probation and the BOS.

    The Calaveras supervisor’s (2005) authorized CPO Don Meyer to investigate himself even though the BOS stated otherwise in writing.
    Unbeknownst to us at the time, CPO Don Meyer, had a pending job offer in Yolo. CPO Meyer went to Tuolumne county probation, Tom Greene, who ditched the investigation after BMWP noted to Greene that Meyer was conducting the investigation while using Tuolumne/Greene as a screen.

    CPO Don Meyer, then went to Sacramento PD, Suzanne Collins, a former colleague of Meyer (Meyer left SCPD 14-months prior). Suzanne Collins stated in writing the SCPD would ethically investigate CPO Don Meyer.
    BMWP pressed that issue and SCPD/Collins ditched the investigation that same day.

    CPO Don Meyer, with 54-county(s) left to investigate returned to Calaveras and had a subordinate DPO lll, Teri Hall, falsify the investigation. BMWP had notified Calaveras and Yolo supervisor’s, county council and probation that CPO Don Meyer, had obstructed/falsified felony foster abuse allegations, BEFORE Yolo concurrently hired Meyer through the county(s) and court(s).

    Earlier Yolo hired a firm to investigate CPO applicants and they called BMWP, tape recorded the conversation and refused additional documentation, and Yolo hired CPO Meyer. Calaveras BOS was still stating publicly that CPO Meyer would be investigated even though he was then in Yolo.

    Yolo and Calaveras created a catch-22 where neither were responsible; which was just addressed by a 2002 judicial council 18-member commission over a Calif chief probation officer.

    A December, 2005, GC 27641, complaint against now Judge Steve Basha, was obstructed as the Yolo BOS authorized the county council to investigate the county council, where Robyn Truitt Drivon, stated the BOS had a private meeting with Schwarzenegger judicial appointee, Steve Basha, a violation of GC 27641. Calaveras mirrored Yolo’s antics.

    The now filed GC 27641, will bear this out as well as a assembly rules committe complaints filed on Yamada and an active state bar investigation. Yolo probation last month stated they were investigating per complaints filed; Calaveras, Sacramento and Tuolumne probation have similar complaints filed.

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