After debating and voting on hundreds of measures in the last week of the California Legislative Session, Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) was encouraged that several pieces of his 2017 legislative package were sent to the Governor and signed into law.
One measure signed by the Governor yesterday, Senate Bill 403, will authorize the California Judicial Council to dispense with certain surplus properties, including the Firebaugh Courthouse, so that local governments can utilize them in the future. The bill further requires that the sale be for fair market value, and that counties be given the first right to purchase.
Last year, Cannella fought for over $6 million in funding from the State Budget to purchase and/or renovate buildings for several police departments in his district, including Firebaugh. The State held the keys of a courthouse building ideal to replace the old, dilapidated Firebaugh Police Department’s current facility, and Cannella’s legislation facilitated a transfer.
“Public safety is a primary role of government, and our local law enforcement must have the tools to keep our communities safe,” said Cannella. “This bill is simply a win-win.”
SB 372, also signed yesterday, creates a groundwater sustainability agency for specific water contractors as required under State Law. The members of the newly created agency, the Exchange Contractors Water Authority, include the Central Canal Water District, Firebaugh Canal Water District, San Luis Canal Company, and the Columbia Canal Company. Exchange Contractors currently serves around 240,000 prime agriculture acres in Fresno, Madera, Merced, and Stanislaus counties.
Another important water measure, SB 373, would improve local water supply by allowing the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA) to use the design-build method on their Regional Surface Water Supply Project, providing drinking water for the cities of Ceres and Turlock.
“Water in California is a precious resource, and this bill will provide our local agencies with the tools to manage it wisely,” said Cannella. “We must ensure a sustainable water supply for the future of California’s agriculture and domestic needs.”
SB 373 passed all committees in both houses with bipartisan support, and without a single “no” vote.
“Water is the key ingredient to California’s population and economic growth, and I am encouraged that my colleagues recognized the merits of this bill,” Cannella concluded.
Among the bills signed into law earlier this year was Senate Bill 496 (Chaptered 4/28), which shields design professionals from legal costs incurred by their clients. In a contract, the “Duty to Defend” is a clause between design professionals (engineers, architects, land surveyors, etc.) and their clients that requires the design professional to pay for attorney’s fees and costs incurred by a client when that client is sued. If a design professional is found not at fault, SB 496 would shield them from legal costs incurred by their clients.
In addition, Senator Cannella’s measure on California’s Nursery Advisory Board, Senate Bill 335 (Chaptered 9/11) ensures the continuation of the strong relationship between the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the nursery industry by codifying into statute the Nursery Advisory Board’s existence within the Department to advise the Secretary of Food and Agriculture and make recommendations on all matters pertaining to the regulation of nursery stock.