Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) today issued the following statement on the 2015-2016 Budget:
Although I didn’t agree with everything in the budget, overall, it prioritizes education, saves for a rainy day and helps reduce the state’s debt. I voted for the budget bills that support the needs of the Valley and against the bills that don’t.
There’s a lot that’s good for the Valley, including an earned income tax credit for the working poor, $45 million for local law enforcement statewide, with $5 million set aside for the police departments of Corcoran, Avenal and Lemoore.
Additionally, there’s $5 million for folks in East Porterville (due to loss of wells) and $18 million for the Porterville Development Center.
During the budget debate, Vidak offered an amendment to one of the budget trailer bills, Assembly Bill 117, which streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),making it faster and easier for billionaire NBA owners to build a new sports arena in San Francisco and well-connected developers to build homes in Hollywood.
Vidak’s amendment, which was rejected on a party-line vote, would have simply allowed the same CEQA streamlining benefits to be used to build vitally-needed water storage facilities that are necessary to provide clean water to disadvantaged communities and to keep farmworkers working instead of fallowing fields.
To watch Vidak’s Floor Speech on the amendment, click here.
Vidak also spoke in opposition to Senate Bill 88, a budget trailer bill that will violate private water rights and force the consolidation of local water agencies.
“This bill is masquerading as a solution to the problems of East Porterville and communities like it. But, in reality, it will do very little to help these residents,” said Vidak.
To watch Vidak’s Floor Speech on SB 88, click here.