EAST BAY TIMES: Delta levee and ratepayer protection bills pass first hurdle

Two bills that would protect Delta levees and ratepayers were passed in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on Tuesday.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s two bills — AB 732 and AB 791 — passed through their first hurdle. AB 732, which extends reimbursements for levee maintenance, passed on a 11-to-4 vote. AB 791, which requires Delta project leads to provide anticipated rate information, passed 8 to 7.

Currently, 75 percent of maintenance costs for levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is reimbursed through the Delta Levees Subvention Program. That reimbursement is set to drop down to 50 percent in 2018. AB 732 will extend that 75 percent reimbursement indefinitely. The bill passed through committee by a 10-to-4 vote.