Senate Ag Chair Andreas Borgeas of Fresno said voters have approved state investments in water infrastructure that are then stalled by agency boards and commissions acting as another branch of government.
The Republican senator was speaking with California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson this week at an Ag Day event.
“Even though the money was there, they find creative ways to make folks like us in the Central Valley continuously ineligible for these projects,” said Borgeas, referring to the Prop. 1 water bond passed in 2014. “When the money stands there long enough, at some point in time, the wolves get hungry and then begin diverting it to other preferred projects.”
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He cited the high-speed rail project as a “classic example” of this and said bond proposals lose their reliability as a result.
“If we were to have other initiatives pass forward, I would make certain the language is legally airtight” and tied to a specific capital investment, he added.
To clarify, policy insiders often joke that special interest groups are the third branch of government, after the governor and the Legislature.