Republicans release drought plan

After Governor Brown announced his $687 million dollar drought relief plan, assembly republicans countered with their own proposal.
February 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A day after Governor Brown announced his $687 million dollar drought relief plan, assembly republicans countered with their own proposal.

President Obama's visit to Joe Del Bosque's farm on Friday left the Firebaugh grower confident real water solutions would follow. But Del Bosque said the governor's plan fell short in communities which rely on agriculture.

Del Bosque explained, "I don't see where it's going to help small businesses. I don't see a lot of things there for us farmers. As far as conservation goes we're already 100% drip irrigation."

Hundreds of thousands of acres will be idled this year. The governor's plan includes $21 million for housing assistance for out of work laborers and their families.

Mario Santoyo of the California Latino Water Coalition said, "These same people that are in the food lines are going to struggle figuring out they're going to pay their rent, their mortgage, their utility bills."

Republicans countered with a new proposal. Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway of Tulare and assembly member Frank Bigelow of O'Neal's introduced an eight billion dollar state water bond plan. It includes three billion for additional water storage.

Conway said, "One of the most important parts of this bond we feel is storage, I think storage runs all the aspects."

Democrats and republicans have traded plans but the political battles frustrate farmers like Del Bosque.

Joe said, "Both sides have some answers but if they don't put their partisan tendencies aside and get together we have nothing. We're the people in the middle that are going to be impacted by this."

Santoyo added, "I think the fact everyone is engaged is a good thing."


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