Senator Borgeas and Bipartisan Valley Coalition Successfully Push Governor to Declare Drought Emergency

Today Governor Gavin Newsom took the initial step of declaring a drought emergency in thirty-nine counties in California. Since March, a bipartisan coalition of Central Valley legislators and county leaders have urged the Governor to declare an emergency in order to allow for the relaxation of certain regulatory, environmental and administrative restraints and allow for water transfers to food producers. The counties of Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings and San Joaquin have all formally declared local emergencies.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s declaration:

“For weeks our bipartisan coalition of county and state leaders in the San Joaquin Valley have urged Governor Newsom to declare a drought emergency in order to ease regulatory restrictions to allow for the transfer of water to our agricultural communities,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Andreas Borgeas.

“Our bipartisan coalition, and the five counties that declared local emergencies, are cautiously grateful that the Governor has declared a state of emergency. We respectfully caution the administration, and the divisions of the state executing this declaration, that these emergency policies not be poisoned with divisive provisions or unnecessarily inflate the authority of bureaucratic agencies, and that it should be tailored to our pressing agricultural needs. More time will be needed to properly examine and understand the implications of the thirteen provisions of the declaration released just today.”

The declaration proclaims a drought emergency for the following 39 counties: Del Norte, Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity, Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties. Additionally, the proclamation provides new authority for the existing drought emergency announced on April 21 for Mendocino and Sonoma counties.