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Berryhill Hopes Voters Will Approve Water Package

Sacramento, CA — Now that the $11 billion water package has passed through the legislature, the next step for lawmakers is to sell it to the voters.

“The argument for more water is that it will bring jobs,” says Tom Berryhill, 25th District Republican Assemblyman. “We’ve got to get people working again, and grow out of this major recession. Also our current infrastructure is set up for only 18 million people when we have 38 million.”

Berryhill says the package would give a boost to agriculture and other industries. It would also clean up the Delta and allow for considerably more storage capabilities. If approved by voters in November of 2010, approximately $600-$800 million would be taken out of the state’s General Fund budget each year until the projects are completed. California is facing a projected $26 billion fiscal deficit.

Other regional lawmakers releasing statements praising the water package include Republican Congressman George Radanovich, Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican State Senator Dave Cogdill, the author of the water package.

With an opposing point of view, 1st District Republican State Senator Dave Cox has written a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger asking that he veto all of the water bills. Cox indicates in his letter that he feels the package was rushed through the legislature and done with too little transparency.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.