There is a reason we endorsed John Moorlach for the 37th State Senate District. He and his wife drove their SUV up to Sacramento and as per his update below, he very quickly set about voting against two bad bills. I am very certain that his defeated opponent, Don Wagner, would have voted the other way.
In my first session this afternoon, I had the privilege of voting on my first two bills. The Democrats were fast tracking both bills in order to show that something was being done concerning the drought. The printed bills were provided a couple of days ago and could not be amended.
Stating that the first bill, AB 91, was addressing the State’s urgent drought needs struck me as a misnomer. Of the $1 billion allocated to various water-related concerns, I could only find $27 million addressing the drought. And this amount was based on a liberal personal interpretation. Two-thirds of the total amount was focused on addressing flood protection needs (the opposite of a drought). This $660 million comes from general obligation bond proceeds, which means it will be paid by the State’s general fund, thus creating more debt and more principal and interest payment commitments.
Since this bill didn’t come close to its advertised intent, I cast a no vote. But, who can vote against something that is communicated as “drought relief?” I was the solitary “no” vote.
AB 92 establishes the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions. I did not come to Sacramento to create new bureaucracies. I’d like to eliminate a few of them. It also gave an inordinate amount of duties to the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DWR). While serving as a County Supervisor, the DWR was so thin and overburdened, it was nearly impossible to get them to even show up to critical meetings. I voted with my Republican colleagues in a 24-14 losing effort.
It only took my first two votes as a Senator to demonstrate how California got itself into deep financial debt, and exactly why we need more accountants and CPA’s in the State Capitol.
I will say that I received a warm welcome from my new colleagues. I also decided to observe the session and elected to not express my frustrations on the floor (give me time). But, window dressing is not my idea of leading. So, I dissented. Let’s hope there are bills that I can vote for in the months to come.