The DSC is contemplating a number of ways to fund the Delta Plan. Perhaps they will apportion the costs by “stressor pays” or by “beneficiary pays’. Maybe they will impose a public goods charge that agencies collect and funnel up to the state. I just want to point out that we’re in this boat because our state legislature is utterly dysfunctional.
If our state budgeting rules weren’t so fucked, Democrats in the legislature could pass a majority budget and have a working General Fund. Work on the Delta could be funded from General Fund monies and water agencies wouldn’t have to squabble over the extent to which they’re a stressor or a beneficiary. Instead we have Republican legislators who have abandoned governing, and refuse to pass any budget that increases taxes despite the fact that there are prominent needs.
We wouldn’t be having these conversations about parsing costs out to local agencies if the state’s budget could include new taxes, is what I’m saying. That is the core problem, and we’re spending thousands of hours discussing policy work-arounds. Even in the weeds of those discussions, it is worth remembering where the real problem is located. Ideologue Republicans in the Legislature and rules that let them hold the state hostage are the reason we have to do this shit.