A bill proposing $1 billion for infrastructure projects in rural communities drew broad support in the Assembly’s new Emergency Management Committee recently. Yet rural lawmakers worried it would grant too much control to urban lawmakers.
Asm. Adam Gray of Merced took issue with the committee that would allocate the funding. It would include a governor’s appointee and the Senate and Assembly leaders, representing the interests of San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.
"This has been one of the worst speakers for rural California in some time,” said Gray, referring to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood.
Gray also expressed frustration over the Water Commission delaying funds from the 2014 Prop. 1 water bond that were meant for water storage projects.
“We've had a relatively poor track record of following through, past the talking points of infrastructure investment,” he said.
Gray also took issue over the bill excluding water storage dollars, calling it too “controversial with our urban colleagues.”
Asm. Ken Cooley of Rancho Cordova clarified that only counties with a population of 300,000 or less would qualify for the grants, meaning urban interests would not be able to reappropriate the funding to their regions.