State Senate Votes Out Historic Levee Bond |

State Senate Votes Out Historic Levee Bond

Sen. Sam Aanestadvoted to pass a historic levee repair and construction bond late Thursday night, and the measure gained near unanimous support, passing 36-1.

Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, says the bond contains just about everything he wanted ” including billions for flood control efforts that include levee repair, new levee construction, new weirs and bypasses plus the removal of sediment that chokes existing waterways.

The Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006, is a $4.09 billion bond measure that will provide at least $3 billion for flood protection projects in Northern California and the Delta region. It also includes another $500 million for floor control work elsewhere around the state. If approved by the State Assembly, the bond will appear on the November ballot.

“This is the flood protection bond that California needed,” said Aanestad. “The money from this bond will lead to the creation of new levees and repair of existing structures. At the same time, this bond provides funding to clear waterways and bypasses of sediment and other debris. It offers California real flood protection, which is what I have been working for since the Legislature reconvened in January.”

Aanestad, the original author of the Governor’s proposed water bond, says the Thursday night vote counts as a major victory for California. While the original bond proposal contained a series of costly fees on all water users, Aanestad convinced his Senate colleagues to drop the fees and instead focus on the main issue of flood protection. Other lawmakers agreed.

Passage of the levee repair and construction bond wasn’t the only victory for flood control efforts in California. The State Senate also passed legislation that directly appropriates $500 million in General Fund money that can be used immediately to help fix 29 “Critical Erosion Sites” already identified by Governor Schwarzenegger. Nine of those sites are in Senator Aanestad’s district.

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