Appropriations committees in both houses of the Legislature on Thursday prevented several bills related to water from advancing.
On storage projects: Assembly Bill 23 would have set timelines for state agencies to permit projects. Senate Bill 861 would have capped the amount of time for legal battles over five major projects. AB 66 would have added more transparency for the permitting process.
On setting targets: AB 62 proposed bumping up groundwater banking by four million acre-feet by 2040 but faced Sierra Club opposition.
On water quality: SB 687 sought to block the state from building a Delta tunnel until it approved a controversial Bay-Delta Plan.
On land grabs: SB 224 would have barred foreign governments from buying farmland.
On drought: SB 262 sought supplemental drought pay for farmworkers who lost work. AB 1044 would add another $100 million in drought and flood relief for agricultural businesses—and still has a chance next year, though it is done for this session.
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Odds and ends: Another bill held until next year was AB 865, which would hold imported foods to California’s environmental and labor standards. SB 709, another two-year bill, would cap carbon credits for dairy digesters. SB 12 would have bumped up the state’s climate goals but failed to pass.
Winegrape growers were also denied a request for financial relief that would have helped employers shoulder the cost of compliance for new COVID-19 workplace safety standards.