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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Valadao introduces bill offering temporary drought solution

California continues to experience its worst drought in 1,200 years, according to a recent study titled, “Geophysical Research Letters,” in TIME magazine.
According to Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E), State Republicans are prioritizing the act of sending more water to parched farmers and residents.
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced on Dec. 3 that floor time is secured during the week of Dec. 8 for a bill addressing the drought.
“The first storms of the season are currently over California, with hopefully more to come in the subsequent month,” McCarthy said in his statement. “Absent action now, California will continue to lose water from storms in this water year and will face another year of devastating water-crisis.”
The bill was introduced on Dec. 2 by Central Valley Republican David Valadao, who stated that the bill is meant to offer a temporary eighteen month solution.
However, this measure has been gaining opposition by state Democrats and environmental groups alike.
“With just a few days left in the legislative session, the House plans to pass yet another divisive, dishonest and potentially devastating California water bill without any public input or legislative oversight,” said Northern California Representatives Jared Huffman, George Miller, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi and Ami Bera in a statement of their own. “This is unconscionable and just the latest chapter in their reckless approach to micromanaging the state’s water during one of the worst droughts in our history.”
The measure will face a steep hill to climb without both California senators on board.
Democrat Barbara Boxer came out in opposition of the bill on Dec. 4, according to E&E Publishing.
“I have carefully studied the Republican water bill and I am dismayed that this measure could reignite the water wars by overriding critical state and federal protections for California,” Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in her statement. “We have communities across the state that are hurting from this drought, so we need a balanced approach that doesn’t pit one stakeholder against another, and meets the needs of all of California’s water users.”
Despite the lower chamber of the Republican-controlled House approving a broader measure earlier this year, Valadao’s new bill is not guaranteed to pass.
According to a report from University of California, the drought is expected to cost the state $2.2 billion and 17,000 farming jobs.  That refers to 2014 alone and does not consider the past two years or the predicted future.

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Valadao introduces bill offering temporary drought solution