Assemblymember Adam Gray of Merced is claiming leadership has stripped him of his position as chair of the Governmental Organization Committee.

Gray attributed this to opposing a budget item last summer extending State Water Board authority to supersede federal decisions on a hydroelectric project. Gray had called it a water grab and another way the board has been expanding its reach regarding water flows. In a statement over the weekend, Gray said the action will “short-circuit” negotiations over voluntary agreements.

“I have spent my entire time in public office fighting Sacramento’s insatiable thirst for the Valley’s water,” he said. “No elected official should ever vote for policies that promise to destroy thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic opportunity in their district.”

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Gray added: “History repeats itself.” He passed legislation five years ago seeking to hold the Water Board more accountable for the economic impacts of its decisions and lost his position on the Water Committee as a result, he said.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood has also created a new Emergency Management Committee to focus on disaster response and prevention.

Gray has a position on that committee, along with fellow moderate Democrat Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters and Republican James Gallagher, who also represents the Sacramento Valley region.