The Democrat-controlled House approved a package of fiscal 2021 spending bills Friday. One of those bills included more than $200 million for repairing the Friant-Kern Canal, the Delta-Mendota Canal and other key conveyance infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.
Fresno Democrat TJ Cox was excited to share that another measure of his, to fund safe drinking water projects in the valley, passed as well. Cox was also pushing for $1 million in funding for USDA research stations, including the Parlier station, which focuses on pests and diseases in specialty crops.
The package also included a measure to make California eligible for federal aid for combating nutria infestations, an effort championed by Democratic Rep. Josh Harder of Turlock.
The GOP-controlled Senate has yet to start working on its version of the spending bills.
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Western Growers has been reaching out to congressmembers to pass a similar measure on funding canal repairs in the Senate. Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill that would authorize $600 million in funding for water infrastructure in the valley. Along with repairing canals, it would dedicate $200 million to environmental restoration projects on the San Joaquin River.