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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Image makeover needed: In the soon-to-be-released grand jury report, the jurors said the county’s Alcohol and Drug and Mental Health departments are suffering from a poor public image.
  • Help at the jail: The Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff’s request to hire four corrections officers, but not before reminding him the county is facing a $3 million budget problem.
  • Water disaster?: The state has already enacted emergency conservation measures. The county is thinking about declaring a local disaster as well.

Legislative Oversight Hearing - The Williamson Act: Past, Present, Future?

3/2/2010

Senate Local Government Committee to hear from county officials, landowners and conservation organizations

Faced with budget problems, the Governor all but eliminated state aid for the Williamson Act in 2009, causing farmers, ranchers, and county officials to question the state's commitment to conserving open space and agricultural lands.

Senator Dave Cox, Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, is holding a hearing on the Williamson Act - how it works and its impact to local communities and the state.

Enacted in 1965, the Williamson Act allows landowners to contract with counties to conserve their properties as farmland and open space. Since 1972-73, the State General Fund has paid about $875 million as direct subventions to the participating county governments.

WHO - Senator Dave Cox (Chair), Senator Christine Kehoe (Vice-Chair), Senator Samuel Aanestad, Senator Curren Price, and Senator Patricia Wiggins

WHAT - The Williamson Act: Past, Present, Future?

WHEN and WHERE - Wednesday, March 3 from 9:30 am to 11 am, State Capitol, Room 112

The committee expects testimony from county officials, landowners and conservation organizations.

Members of the public are welcome to comment following the scheduled testimonies.

To view the agenda and the briefing paper, go to http://sinet2.sen.ca.gov/locgov/3-3-10BriefingPaper.pdf.

Senator Dave Cox represents the residents of the First Senate District, which includes all or portions of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Sacramento and Sierra Counties. Contact his office at 916-651-4001, or via email.


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