Debate Over Williamson Act
Sacramento, CA — District One State Senator Dave Cox chaired a Legislative Oversight hearing this week on the Williamson Act.
Last year Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated Williamson Act funding to help balance the budget. The program costs the state an estimated $120 million annually, and allows landowners to contract with counties to conserve their properties as farmland and open space.
"In their testimonies to members of the Senate Local Government Committee, the panelists resoundingly praised the statewide benefits of the Williamson Act," says Cox. "Preserving the Williamson Act promotes food security by protecting the land base, encourages agricultural support industries and helps safeguard the environment."
The Williamson Act was first enacted in 1965, and its funding will once again be in question during the upcoming budget cycle given the state’s growing deficit.
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