“To get the new year started right, California’s Senate Republicans — all nine of them — are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to do something that makes a lot of sense. Their call is to fund badly needed repairs to the key waterways that ship water to communities and farms throughout the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.
“Fixing the problems caused by subsidence can be done, but it is expensive. This is where the Senate Republicans come in. …
“… In a Dec. 16 letter to Newsom, the Senate GOP members note that California is expected to have a $31 billion budget surplus in 2022-23. Why not, they argue, spend some of that unexpected windfall on fixing up the canals?
“The Republicans would dedicate $685 million for repairs to the aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota and Friant-Kern.
“Another $2.6 billion would be spent on building the Sites Reservoir, a facility proposed to be built north of Sacramento and the only major new water project in the works in California.
“Among the Republicans raising the call is Sen. Andreas Borgeas of Fresno, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. “With both drought and uncertain economic years ahead, it is crucial we invest in our water infrastructure while we still have the opportunity,” the GOP members say in their correspondence.
“Their point is well taken, in that surpluses are not a sure thing one can budget for. …
As Newsom readies to present his next budget in first month of the new year, he would do well to consider the request of the Senate Republicans to use surplus money for the waterway repairs. Get the aqueduct and canals back in proper working order, and the entire state will benefit.”