(AB 854 put on hold for two years)…The bill was submitted by Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Riverside County.

It went to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and they decided to turn the measure into a two year bill to allow for local discussions and negotiations to move forward. The Bill would, among other things, call for 6 Riverside County residents to serve on the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors. This would give Riverside a majority on the Board and a say on everything the IID deals with, including water issues. The IID sees that as a threat to their water rights, and stringently oppose the bill. Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, who represents Coachella Valley and all of Imperial County, has said he would facilitate talks between the IID, Coachella Valley Water District, Assemblyman Mayes and other stakeholders. IID Board President Erik Ortega said the Committee action was welcomed news for the Imperial Irrigation District and their rate payers. Ortega said the IID strongly supports local level talks and are very willing to participate in the discussions.