Newsletter - February 2020

If you are even vaguely conscious you are aware of the fact that California is in trouble. The Governor has released statistics that indicate the state has a huge surplus.  That does not seem to be reflected in the daily lives of many Californians.  The rate of people and businesses leaving the state is growing.  In the last decade 5 Million people left California while 3.9 Million moved to California.  That works out to a total of 1 Million citizens leaving California.  13,000 businesses have left California in the last decade.  Why are they going?  The primary reason appears to be the cost of living and the cost of housing. 

There is undoubtedly another reason:  Loss of freedom.  How is that loss manifested?Your freedom diminishes every time the legislature passes another law that restricts what you can do in your life.  We are not talking about restrictions that are aimed at keeping the citizenry safe.  We are talking about laws that restrict your life for no other reason than to supposedly create a “perfect society” or to benefit one group over another.

A Governor gets a lot of the heat when things don’t go right in the government.  What many voters ignore is their legislature.  All legislation that comes to the governor’s desk first went through the two Houses of the Legislature.  Easily 3,000 bills are introduced in the California Legislature in the first January of the two year session.  Of course, many of these bills never go anywhere. At the end of the 2019 session the Legislature sent 1042 bills to the Governor.  He signed 870.  This legislature is very busy passing bills on every possible topic. This endless cornucopia of legislation takes away the freedom of California citizens under the guise of fixing everything so that we will have a peaceful and wonderful existence.  Free Americans should be able to make their own decisions about how they want to live.  When government is regulating everything you do while at the same time not taking care of the problems that are their responsibility, we are in trouble.

Let’s look at Assembly Bill 5 which the legislature passed and the Governor signed. This law affects the so called “gig economy.”  Who is included in the gig economy?  People who work for themselves either completely or on a part time basis and who pick and choose when, where and for whom they will work.  This includes such people as writers who submit material to various publications, part time care givers, independent truck drivers, translators, nail salon workers, physical therapists etcetera.  With AB5 truck drivers have to be employed and not independent workers, writers for certain publications would have to be employees and on and on.  Who does this law benefit?  Unions!  As an employee, many workers would have to belong to a union.  Already, certain publications (even based in other states) have let go writers who submitted articles on a random basis.  Many truckers are still working because a judge issued a temporary injunction so that independent truckers could continue working.  Doctors, real estate agents and hairdressers were exempted from AB5.

AB 1482:  Although Californians voted down rent control in the last election AB 1482 limits rent increases to 5% each year, plus inflation and never above 10%.  This law also makes it much harder for landlords to evict tenants.

SB-1:  This bill increased gasoline taxes by approximately 20 cents, effective November 1,2019 and vehicle license fees by an average of $100 per car effective January 1, 2019.

SB104:  Illegal immigrants who are between the ages of 19 – 25 are now able to receive free healthcare.  Illegal immigrant children already receive free healthcare.  This is not the same as emergency healthcare.

Two very important bills were SB 606 and AB 1668 which were signed by Governor Brown.

This law established water use objectives and reporting requirements for urban and rural areas. Both bills gave the State Water Resources Control Board and the state Department of Water Resources authority to establish water use efficiency standards by June 30, 2022.  Some of the provisions in the legislation include:

  • Urban water suppliers must calculate an aggregate urban water use objective.
  • Institute an indoor water use standard of 55 gallons per capita daily (GPCD) until 2025, 52.5 GPCD from 2025 until 2030 and 50 GPCD from 2030 onward.
  • Establish a $1,000 daily fine for water use regulations.  In a drought emergency the fine increases to $10,000 per day.
  • Restructure urban water management plans and agricultural water management plans by requiring plans to have annual water budgets, quantify increases in water use efficiency, describe water suppliers’ management strategies and include plans in event of drought.

It is important to review the water situation in California.  As Congressman Tom McClintock states:  “Droughts are nature’s fault.  They happen.  But water shortages are our fault.”  In the 1970’s laws were passed that made the construction of new reservoirs time-consuming and cost prohibitive.  Five years of drought cost billions of dollars in our economy, destroyed tens of thousands of jobs and had many communities very close to running out of water. 

We have recently had one of the wettest periods on records.  Massive torrents of water were released to the Pacific Ocean because we have nowhere to store the water which will be needed during the next drought.  The annual flow on the Sacramento River is about 25 Million acre-feet.  We only store 11 Million acre-feet on the Sacramento.  That is less than a six months flow.  The rest goes to the Pacific Ocean. 

California is subject to cycles of floods and droughts.  New dams are necessary to both assure safety during floods and abundance during drought.

Some people are pushing desalination at a cost of $2,300 per acre foot.  Water recycling costs $1,500.  Importing water costs $925.  Groundwater storage costs $737.  At $600 per acre foot dams and reservoirs are the cheapest source of water. 

Unfortunately, the “leaders” in California prefer to spend four times the cost of storage to reclaim water AFTER it has been lost to the sea.

Shasta Dam could be raised by 18 feet (the original design) at a cost of $1.4 Billion or spend $1 Billion for a desalination plant in San Diego.  Shasta would yield as much as 630,000 acre feet per year.  A desalination plant would yield 56,000 acre feet. 

Let’s not forget.  We have active groups in California who want to take down the dams.




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